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Mar 20, 2013

Mourinho: FIFA award was fixed

Mourinho clearly still has support from some in the dressing room, including summer signing Michael Essien

Jose Mourinho says he did not attend January's Ballon d'Or ceremony as the vote had been fixed to allow Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque win the 2012 Coach of the Year award.

• Train: Mt. Mourinho erupts again
• Whittaker: Mourinho gives Interisti false hope

At the time, although one of the three nominees for the award, Mourinho said he did not travel to Zurich as he was preparing for his club's Copa del Rey second leg against Celta Vigo, which Madrid won 4-0 two days later. Spanish paper AS then published photos of the Portuguese watching his son's team play at the same time as the awards were being handed out.

Mourinho said in an interview with Portuguese TV station RTP aired on Tuesday night that his real reason for staying away from the FIFA ceremony was that he had been told by a number of people that their votes for him had been changed - presumably in favour of Del Bosque.

"One, two or three people called me to tell me they had voted for me, but another person's name had appeared in their votes," Mourinho said. "[So] I decided not to go. I am accusing FIFA of irregularities in the choice of the best coach in the world. There was a lack of transparency. FIFA knows about these irregularities, it knows they existed, and it did not avoid them."

Del Bosque won the 2012 award with 34.51% of the 505 votes cast by international managers, players and journalists, ahead of 20.49% for Mourinho, and 12.91% for former Barcelona and future Bayern Munich coach Josep Guardiola. RTP reportedly checked the accusation of irregularities with FIFA, and the governing body maintained the vote had been above aboard.

In a statement, it said: "FIFA confirms that the list of votes published on FIFA.com is accurate."

During the interview, Mourinho also denied a claim made recently on Spanish radio that he had already decided to leave Madrid this summer and had a new club lined up.

Respected Spanish radio host Jose Ramon de la Morena has said that in January, in the aftermath of Marca's story that Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos had issued an "either he goes or we go' ultimatum to club president Florentino Perez, Mourinho had negotiated down the release clause in his current contract from €30 million to €10 million.

The presumption is that this was to make it easier to agree a new deal elsewhere for next season, but the ex-Chelsea and Inter Milan boss denied any such machinations had taken place.

"That is not true," he said. "I have no agreement with a club to leave. There is nothing signed. That is ridiculous."

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