Source Pravda.Ru

Chelsea's onfield glory tarnished by Mourinho, backroom team

Chelsea has reached the semifinals of the Champions League and is almost assured of winning its first league title in 50 years.

Instead of glowing with pride, however, the Blues are under fire for an arrogant attitude toward European soccer's governing body, accused of trying to poach one of Arsenal's stars and could be eclipsing Manchester United as the most hated team in English soccer.

Jose Mourinho's team reached the last four of the Champions League despite losing at Bayern Munich 3-2 on Tuesday. The English leaders won the first leg 4-2 and advanced 6-5 on aggregate.

Despite the impressive performances of Mourinho's players on the field, the eccentric behavior of Chelsea's coaches and administrators has taken away much of the glory.

The manager and his coaching team have been accused in the media of taunting UEFA after its decision to ban him from the bench for the Champions League quarterfinals against Bayern.

UEFA suspended Mourinho for accusing FC Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard of colluding with referee Anders Frisk during the first half their Champions League second round game at the Camp Nou.

Mourinho remains convinced he was right and, in a bizarre series of events at both news conferences, Chelsea has angered UEFA and puzzled the media with strange behavior.

With Mourinho banished from the bench, there was speculation that he was breaking UEFA rules by talking to his backup coaches by phone during the first leg victory over Bayern. The coaches swapped pieces of paper and one of them appeared to be fiddling with something under his woolen hat near his ear.

Chelsea denied doing anything wrong. But the club's decision to send just a fitness coach to a major pre-game news conference along with a player who has seen just two minutes of action all season was interpreted by the media as arrogance and a swipe at UEFA.

"It is not appropriate," said match delegate Wolfgang Eichler, who will be UEFA's chief press officer for the 2008 European Championship in Austria and Switzerland.

"The situation is very tense between UEFA and Mourinho. Chelsea did not even bother telling us who they intended putting up (for the interview). This is not ideal and I will have to report this to UEFA."

Mourinho's behavior at the return leg in Munich also made headlines.

He took his seat inside the Olympic stadium but, unhappy at his apparent lack of privacy with TV cameras focusing on him, walked out and took a taxi back to the team's hotel.

Chelsea spokesman Simon Greenberg said he hoped that UEFA would now concentrate on Chelsea's performances on the field.

"I think everybody at Chelsea feels we want to get back to talking about football and the brilliant performance of the team to get to the Champions League semifinals," he said Wednesday. "Despite one or two issues last night, we want to put the all of the matters relating to Jose's ban behind us. I am sure UEFA will want to do the same."

The club's behavior at home, however, has also made headlines for the wrong reasons.

Chelsea already faces charges for allegedly trying to lure England defender Ashley Cole away from Arsenal while under contract, and the Premier League on Wednesday announced the names of the three-man disciplinary committee that will hear the case in the next few weeks.

Cole and his agent met Mourinho and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon at a hotel in London and the club has been charged with making an illegal approach to the player.

Meanwhile, the Blues could face a similar investigation over a meeting Kenyon had with Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and his agent at a restaurant in London.

Chelsea issued a statement strongly denying any impropriety and said the meeting was purely accidental with Ferdinand going to the restaurant to pick up some paperwork from his agent.

But the story will add weight to suggestions that Mourinho's team, owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, tends to play by its own set of rules and doesn't adhere to the regulations laid down by the Premier League, the Football Association and UEFA.

ROBERT MILLWARD, AP Soccer Writer

The Trump administration is looking for a replacement for the American military contingent in the north of Syria. If the United States agrees with Saudi Arabia, the situation in the south of the country will become a lot more intense as Iran and Israel stand on the brink of war

Iran strongly determined to fight for Golan Heights
Comments
USSR shot down Korean passenger Boeing 40 years ago. Chronicles
USSR shot down Korean passenger Boeing 40 years ago. Chronicles
Russia deprives Pacific Fleet of legendary submarines
Will Americans sacrifice one of their warships to start a major war?
Unexploded Western missiles in Russia's hands: Russian air defenses to get even better
Unexploded Western missiles in Russia's hands: Russian air defenses to get even better
War between USA and Russia will break out only if Americans cross Russia’s red lines
USSR shot down Korean passenger Boeing 40 years ago. Chronicles
Yulia Skripal received toxic chemical injection while in a coma, Russian embassy officials say
Will Americans sacrifice one of their warships to start a major war?
Russia to introduce criminal responsibility for those implementing anti-Russian sanctions
Will Americans sacrifice one of their warships to start a major war?
Russia to introduce criminal responsibility for those implementing anti-Russian sanctions
Will Americans sacrifice one of their warships to start a major war?
Will Americans sacrifice one of their warships to start a major war?
Iran strongly determined to fight for Golan Heights
Russia to introduce criminal responsibility for those implementing anti-Russian sanctions
Russia to introduce criminal responsibility for those implementing anti-Russian sanctions
USA highly concerned about Russia's cold-blooded silence in response to missile attack on Syria
USA highly concerned about Russia's cold-blooded silence in response to missile attack on Syria
Russia to introduce criminal responsibility for those implementing anti-Russian sanctions