Mourinho to fight UEFA ban

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Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho will "defend himself to the end" after being handed a five-match ban by UEFA.

Mourinho was handed the punishment by European football's governing body for his actions during and after the fiery Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona at the Bernabeu last week. Madrid, who also received further punishments from UEFA for other incidents during the game, have already announced they will appeal the ruling.

The club said in a statement: "Real Madrid considers this resolution still suffers from the same defects found at the start of the disciplinary case, which made it impossible for our coach to use his right to defend himself, since the exact statements for which the disciplinary case was opened are still unknown."

The former Chelsea boss has already served a one-match ban, at this week's return leg at the Nou Camp, while another is suspended, meaning he will miss Madrid's first three European games next season.

Mourinho did not appear before the media on Friday on the eve of Madrid's Primera Division clash with Sevilla, with his assistant Aitor Karanka taking his place. Karanka also undertook media duties before and after this week's semi-final second leg with Barca, where a 1-1 draw saw Madrid tumble out of Europe 3-1 on aggregate

Asked about Mourinho's reaction to his ban, Karanka said: "When you receive a sanction like that you never receive it well and more so if you don't know the reason for the sanction. "The club have already announced they are going to appeal and, on a personal level, Mourinho is going to defend himself and he will fight to the end."

Karanka claimed the club still have not been told the reason for Mourinho's punishment. "As things stand today, UEFA haven't communicated the reason for the sanctions against the coach," he said.

In a statement announcing the suspension on their website, UEFA said: "Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, who was dismissed from the bench in the first leg and made an inappropriate statement at the post-match interview, has been suspended for the next five UEFA club competition matches for which he would otherwise be eligible."

Mourinho was also been fined 50,000 euros by UEFA's control and disciplinary body for his sending-off and comments after the first leg, while midfielder Pepe has been given a one-game ban, which he served in the second leg, for his dismissal. Madrid were also fined 20,000 euros for the behaviour of their fans.

Barcelona reserve keeper Jose Pinto, who was red-carded after a scuffle at half-time at the Bernabeu, was given a three-game ban by UEFA. Like Madrid, Barcelona have announced they will appeal against that punishment, which would rule Pinto out of the Champions League final against Manchester United.

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European News
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