Jose Mourinho has revealed why he will be enjoying his latest touchline ban at Roma, with the Portuguese preparing to serve another suspension.
- Portuguese to miss start of 2023-24 season
- 10-day ban in Serie A
- Four-match suspension in UEFA competition
WHAT HAPPENED? The enigmatic coach will not be on the touchline for Roma’s 2023-24 Serie A opener against Salernitana on August 24. That is because he has been given a 10-day ban for branding Daniele Chiffi “the worst” referee he had ever seen following a lively fixture back in May. While Mourinho has grown accustomed to incurring the wrath of football authorities, with a UEFA suspension also coming his way, he intends to make the most of his latest enforced break as he relaxes in more comfortable surroundings.
WHAT THEY SAID: Mourinho has told reporters of being stung with another ban: “I am not surprised by anything. With this heat in August, rather than sit on the bench I will be somewhere nice and cool with air conditioning!”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Mourinho will be hoping to see Roma – a side he led to Europa Conference League glory in 2022 and the Europa League final last season – get off to a flyer against Salernitana, but it remains to be seen whether Paulo Dybala is available to him. The Argentine World Cup winner has been linked with Chelsea amid talk of a €12 million (£10m/$13m) exit clause being activated, but Mourinho has said of that speculation: “I don’t know anything about his contract. But obviously I talk to Paulo like I do with all of my players.”
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WHAT NEXT? Mourinho has been hit with a four-game ban by UEFA as a result of his behaviour towards Premier League match official Anthony Taylor in the 2023 Europa League final – which Roma lost on penalties to Sevilla – while he collected three red cards during the 2022-23 campaign.