Jose Mourinho has been labelled out of touch by Fifa vice president and chief of anti-racism Jeffrey Webb.
The CONCACAF president, who is one of the most influential men in world football, was speaking in response to the Chelsea manager's claim that racism is not present in football.
Mourinho stated last week that “there is no racism in football” and insisted: “If you are good, you get the job.”
'Out of touch'
Speaking at the Leader's in Sport Business Summit, ironically held at Stamford Bridge yesterday, Webb accused Mourinho of being out of touch with issues in English football. Webb pointed to Eddie Newton as proof that racism is still present.
In response, Webb said: “Mourinho said that? Incredible. I think that was unwise. I think it’s out of touch. I don’t think Eddie Newton would agree with that.”
Newton was Roberto Di Matteo's assistant when he managed the Blues all the way to Champions League glory in 2012, but is now the technical coach for Chelsea's youth development programme.
When Di Matteo was sacked, Newton was not invited to apply for the job. That is something Webb sees as proof that racism is still very much in football.
He continued: “He can’t even get an interview: Eddie Newton can’t get an interview. I’m not talking about getting a job, just getting an interview.”
"I don’t know how racism could be hidden in English football. You have 92 clubs and two coaches of colour.
"How many board members and executives in the FA and FIFA? It is not hidden. It is hidden from a discussion point of view. No-one wants to deal with it.”
One possible solution to the lack of black managers is to adopt the Rooney rule from the NFL. Teams are required to interview at least one candidate from an ethnic minority and Webb believes American owners can use their influence in the Premier League to introduce it.
“How many American owners do we have in English Premier League clubs? There’s a number of them so why have certain standards here?
“Of course in the U.S in the NFL league you live by different standards. Why? If it’s good there why would it not be good here?
“I don’t think FIFA can regulate that. I think it has to come from within. It has to start with the ownership and of course the fans have to demand it.”
It is another unwanted controversy for Chelsea, who have had to deal with racial-related controversy in the recent past. Captain John Terry was eventually suspended for four games and fined £220,000 for calling Anton Ferdinand a f****** black c***. He was also taken to court but was eventually acquitted.
Chelsea were also forced to launch an investigation into claims that a small number of fans were involved in racist chants whilst travelling home from an away day at Norwich.