Matic ban undermines English football, claims Chelsea boss Mourinho

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that the two-match ban for midfielder Nemanja Matic ‘undermines the credibility of English football’, Sky Sports is reporting.

The Serb was sent off in his last game for pushing Burnley striker Ashley Barnes to the floor in retaliation to a dangerous challenge that Mourinho believed could have led to the end of his career. Barnes was not dismissed by referee Martin Atkinson, and avoided retrospective punishment from the Football Association.

However, Matic was handed a three-match ban, which was later reduced to two following an appeal, but the Blues still feel aggrieved that the former Benfica star will miss Sunday’s Capital One Cup final against Tottenham at Wembley as well as the upcoming Premier League clash with West Ham United.

And Mourinho, who has earlier this season claimed that there is a campaign against his side driven by the media and football pundits which has influenced match officials, believes that the English game’s reputation has been undermined by the Matic saga. He said: ‘We must take care of our football,” he said. “It’s not about how many millions are watching on television. It’s about the feeling and respect and credibility, what people think about it.

“Strong credibility. This is something English football cannot lose. You lose credibility when a player like Matic is suspended, and another player can play this weekend. I don’t think you can have any doubt that all around the world people open their mouths with surprise at how this can be possible.”

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