The Football Association are reportedly looking into Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho’s comments regarding the appointment of Anthony Taylor as the referee to officiate the high voltage match between Liverpool and Manchester United on Monday night.
Mourinho had said that it would be a very tough job for Taylor to officiate the match at Anfield considering he lives only six miles from Old Trafford.
He said, “I have my view but I understood and I learned a lesson by being so many times by the FA for saying some words about referees. I think Mr. Taylor is a very good referee.”
“But I think somebody with intention is putting such pressure on him that I feel it will be difficult for him to have a very good performance,” he went on to add.
Though his words were brief, Mourinho had seemed to suggest that Taylor, who is from Manchester, would somehow try to prove that he is not biased towards United and give decisions against them which normally would go in their favour.
The FA now are reportedly studying the Portuguese manager’s comments and may contact him for an official explanation if any discrepancy is found.
The FA introduced a rule in 2009 which forbade managers from speaking anything about the match officials - positive, negative or otherwise - in an attempt to eliminate the coach’s influence on referees.
The FA’s statement, at that time, said, "Clubs are being advised that any media comments by managers, players or any other club officials relating to appointed match officials prior to a fixture will no longer be allowed - such pre-match comments will be deemed improper and dealt with accordingly.''
Sir Alex Ferguson was the first to be charged with improper conduct because of this offense in 2011 when he spoke of Howard Webb before a match, though he was praising him. Then Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti and Stoke City manager Tony Pulis were also charged for a similar offense.
Jose Mourinho is no stranger when it comes to facing disciplinary actions by the Football Association. In 2015, he got a stadium ban for confronting the referee in a Premier League match against West Brom.
The comments he made before the match might well be one of Jose’s mind games to rattle the opposition and the referee, Mourinho does not have concerns over the discipline of his own players when they take to field at Anfield.
"Our disciplinary record is really, really good - we don't have problems at all at this level," he said.
"We are a team that plays with discipline, that is following everything that was told to us in the meetings that we had with the representatives of the Premier League and the referees.
"We don't press referees, we behave on the touchline so that's a point that we are very comfortable with,” he added.