- The FA are to look at Jose Mourinho’s comments about ref Anthony Taylor
- The Portuguese said Taylor would struggle to perform well at Anfield
- Mourinho will face Liverpool for the first time as Manchester United boss
- The FA may deem Mourinho’s comments to be intimidatory or influential under their revised 2009 guidelines
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho’s comments about the appointment of referee Anthony Taylor for the Red Devils’ match at Liverpool on Monday are to be looked at by the Football Association.
The Portuguese was asked about Manchester-based Taylor – registered with the Cheshire FA – being given the game after Keith Hackett, former head of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited body, criticised the move.
Taylor’s appointment caused an outcry among Liverpool fans because he lives just six miles from Old Trafford, leading to former Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) chief Keith Hackett to criticise the decision as potentially ‘intolerable’.
Hackett said he felt it placed undue pressure on the official.
Mourinho then waded in with his own take on the situation, revealing his thoughts that Taylor may struggle to perform because of the circumstances surrounding the appointment and the widespread attention it was receiving.
‘I think Mr Taylor is a very good referee but I think somebody with intention is putting such a pressure on him that I feel that it will be difficult for him to have a very good performance,’ Mourinho said.
The Portuguese also added: ‘I have my view but I understood and I learned a lesson by being punished so many times for some words so I don’t want to say anything [more] about it.’
It is understood that the FA’s governance team will study those comments and may subsequently wish to contact the United boss for his observations.
New rules were introduced in 2009 in an attempt to crack down on pre-match comments about officials which could be viewed as intimidatory or influential.
In its statement at the time the FA said: ‘Clubs are being advised that any media comments by managers, players or any other club officials relating to appointed match officials prior to a fixture will no longer be allowed – such pre-match comments will be deemed improper and dealt with accordingly.’
Mourinho is well versed in having run-ins with the FA regarding comments he has previously made.
Last season, Mourinho was fined £50,000 and given a one-game stadium ban for saying officials were ‘afraid’ to give Chelsea penalties following a 3-1 defeat against Southampton in October.
In total, he racked up £140,000 in fines during his second spell at Chelsea for remarks made to officials during the matches or about them afterwards.