Taunting is an action that’s generally frowned upon in every professional sport (most will assess a penalty or a foul when players engage in obvious instances of it), so it’s not surprising that Chelsea assistant coach Marco Ianni has today been charged by The FA with “improper conduct” for his celebrations in front of and aimed at the Manchester United bench after Ross Barkley’s last-minute equalizer on Saturday. He has until Thursday, 6pm to respond.
However, retaliation is an action that’s generally frowned upon in every professional sport as well, and in some cases even more severely than the initial provocation. Even in a sport like professional ice hockey, where “street justice” and fighting is allowed and sometimes even encouraged, a player who retaliates can be subject to a “game misconduct” penalty while the instigator is usually assessed only a “10-minute misconduct” (in addition to both players getting to spent some time in the penalty box).
You might argue that Mourinho didn’t retaliate, but in the heat of the moment, he certainly intended to. You don’t clear the benches to run after somebody to give them a hug and a kiss on each cheek. Only the stewards prevented an actual confrontation from happening, and similar scenes played out in the tunnel afterwards, too, apparently.
Maybe the FA just wanted to take it easy on their frequent customer, issuing him only a warning. He’s already facing charges for mouthing off in full view of the TV cameras after their win against Newcastle.
“In relation to this incident, José Mourinho has been formally reminded of his responsibilities whilst both clubs have received similar official reminders in terms of the behaviour expected of their staff and players at all times whilst in the technical area.”
Or maybe they were swayed by Mourinho’s nice-guy act, at least when it came to his punishment.
“I want to thank Sarri for his honesty, I want to thank Chelsea for its honesty, too. But I’m not happy that it is going too far with the young boy, I don’t think he deserves more than what he got, he apologised to me, I accept his apologies, I think he deserves a second chance.
“I don’t think he deserves or to be sacked or anything more than the fact his club was strong with him and he went through a situation [where] he recognises he was wrong. So I hope everybody does the same as I did, which is not to disturb a career of a young guy which is probably a great guy, is probably a coach of great potential and I’m not happy with it more than that.
“It is the end of story with me, in the minutes he apologised to me. But I would really like the boy not to go through more than that. Let him work, everybody makes mistakes, I made mistakes, I hope they let the kid go.”
-Jose Mourinho; source: Telegraph
Sacked for taunting? Even just floating the idea is outrageous.