While Roma boycotts the media, coach Jose Mourinho posted a picture of handcuffs on Instagram after he received a two-match touchline ban from the Serie A organizers.
During the second half of a 1-2 loss to Cremonese in Round 24 of Serie A on February 28th, Mourinho had a heated argument with fourth official Serra on the sideline and was shown a direct red card by referee Marco Piccinini.
The following day, the Serie A organizers handed Mourinho a two-match touchline ban, ruling him out of the Juventus game on March 5th and Sassuolo on March 12th, and fined him over $10,000 for his misconduct in the Cremonese game. Roma then appealed the decision to postpone the punishment, allowing Mourinho to lead the team to a 1-0 victory over Juventus at Olimpico.
However, on March 10th, the appeal was rejected, and Mourinho was suspended for two matches and fined over $10,000. As a result, the “Special One” will not be able to lead the team against Sassuolo on March 12th and the derby against Lazio on March 19th.
Immediately after Mourinho’s punishment was confirmed, Roma retaliated with a media boycott. Olimpico stadium will not allow players, coaches, or staff to hold pre- and post-match press conferences for at least two matches against Sassuolo and Lazio in Serie A. This move is said to be in response to the Serie A organizers’ decision.
However, Roma will still fulfill their media obligations before and after the second leg of the Round of 16 matches against Real Sociedad in Spain on March 16th. According to Football Italy, the Rome-based club is only doing so out of obligation to UEFA.
On the same day, Mourinho posted a picture of his crossed wrists on Instagram with the message “Thank you very much,” and tagged his sponsor brands. The post received over 450,000 likes and nearly 8,000 comments in a day.
According to Football Italy, Mourinho recreated his “legendary gesture” from his time coaching Inter in 2010. During a match against Sampdoria at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in Serie A, Inter had to play with two fewer players after referee Paolo Tagliavento gave red cards to defenders Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba.
On the sideline, Mourinho crossed his arms and pointed towards the camera, indicating an invisible shackle that was restraining the club.
“Even in silence, Mourinho always knows how to convey a message,” Football Italy commented on the Roma head coach’s latest photo. He is also one of the highest paid coaches in sports in the world.
After losing to Cremonese, Mourinho insinuated that Serra deliberately provoked him to get him sent off, and he wanted the organizers to find audio recordings on the pitch as evidence and to suggest the possibility of taking legal action.
According to a video circulating on social media, Serra told Mourinho to “Go home” and “Everyone is making you angry,” after the Roma head coach was sent off.
However, according to the ANSA news agency, a representative from the Italian Referees’ Association (AIA) said there was no evidence to support Mourinho’s accusations against the fourth official.
“The fourth official was not recorded because his voice and the noise around him would interfere with the sound of the main referee and VAR. Recording only happens if the fourth official records it himself and activates the mechanism, but that did not happen in the previous match,” the AIA representative explained.
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