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Mourinho Avoids Suspension, Fined €20K for Calling Match Official “Unstable”

Turns out, publicly questioning the competency of referees is a bad thing. Who knew?

AS Roma v FC Sheriff Tiraspol: Group G - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 Photo by Silvia Lore/Getty Images

In addition to his impressive collection of trophies and other palmares, José Mourinho is probably best known for his shoot-from-the-hip approach with the media. Throughout his storied career, Mourinho has filled papers everywhere from England to Italy with an array of hot takes, accusations, personal attacks, and more quips than you can count.

While that's all part and parcel of the Mourinho experience, his latest dance with decency came before Roma's 2-1 victory over Sassuolo on December 3rd when questioned referee Matteo Marcenaro's suitability to officiate in Serie A.

"We had him three times as a fourth official, and I don't think he has the emotional stability for games of this level," Mourinho said.

Later in that same interview, Mourinho criticized Sassuolo star forward Domenico Berardi, claiming that he "exaggerates fouls to draw yellow cards."

After the match, Mourinho claimed that his Italian wasn't "sufficiently polished" to express his meaning accurately.

"The reason I am speaking Portuguese is that my Italian is not sufficiently polished to express certain concepts. When I talked about emotional stability, I was referring to a quality that in life and in football is necessary to perform at the highest level,"

Whether his comments were misconstrued or not, Mourinho once again drew the ire of the FIGC, the governing body of Italian football, who suspended The Special One for the first two matches of the season for remarks he made about an official at the end of the 2022-2023 season.

Couple that with his four-match suspension handed down by UEFA after Mourinho berated match officials in the bowels of the Puskas Arena following Roma's controversial defeat to Sevilla in the Europa League final last spring, and Mourinho's mouth has caused a lot of headaches for the club.

But there is a silver lining of sorts. Rather than being suspended, the FIGC has fined Mourinho €20,000 for his most recent transgression, which will be donated to the Italian Leukemia Association.

At least some good came from this, but something tells me we'll revisit this topic before too long.