Ex-referee Mark Halsey has defended Jose Mourinho after the Chelsea manager was fined £50,000 for criticising the referee following the 3-1 defeat to Southampton three weeks ago, saying that other managers have done the same or worse without punishment.
Mourinho was given the fine and a suspended one match ban after the incident and Halsey, who took a break from the game in 2009 after a cancer diagnosis before retiring in 2013, points to times when other managers, such as Arsene Wenger, have blamed referees for their side’s shortcomings with no repercussions.
Writing in Goal.com, Halsey, 54, called for consistency in how English football’s governing body handles dissent:
“You look at Arsene Wenger, he came out and criticised Mike Dean and nothing was said; he wasn’t even charged.
“You’ve got to be consistent.
“We’ve seen it in the past, Wenger pushed Mourinho last season and the FA didn’t take any action.
“You get Nigel Pearson holding a Crystal Palace player down on the floor, threatening to knock his block off, and yet the FA don’t take any action so once again it’s the FA showing its inconsistency in dealing with players and managers.
“I’m just as miffed as Chelsea and Mourinho because the punishment, for me, is far excessive for the crime and, as for what Mourinho said about only him being punished by the FA, I think he’s right, as the proof is there in the pudding.”