Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has offered up a carefully worded response to the news that referees' chief Mike Riley phoned West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke to apologise for the controversial penalty awarded by official Andre Marriner against his team at Stamford Bridge earlier this month.
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West Brom boss Steve Clarke confirmed on Thursday that he had spoken to Riley about the incident that saw Chelsea midfielder Ramires tumble in the box deep into injury time, with the resulting penalty from Eden Hazard earning the home side a contentious 2-2 draw.
Mourinho fiercely defended his own player amid accusations that he had dived to save his team from defeat and while he would not be drawn to comment on the incident at his latest news conference, he instead chose to focus on the response of referees' chief Riley.
“If there is a controversial -- I’m not saying a mistake -- decision that hypothetically -- and, I repeat, hypothetically -- favours Chelsea, they [referees] know they are going to be publicly exposed by their boss, that they know,” Mourinho said.
“I’m curious to know if this was an isolated phone call. Or is this the start and from now on, it will be the same for everybody. If referees ring me to apologise [for mistakes], then my telephone would be very, very busy.
“Nobody called me to apologise about the fact it was not a free kick against West Brom for their second goal. Nobody called me to say we should have had a penalty to equalise against Everton.
“I’m interested to know if [Hull manager] Steve Bruce got a phone call, if [Norwich boss] Chris Hughton got a phone call, if [Swansea boss Michael] Laudrup got a call [after controversial incidents this season].
“I’m curious to know what you [the assembled media] think about the situation. This Premier League belongs to all of us, not just the managers, the players. It belongs to the supporters, to the media.
“Normally I don’t like to read too much, to get opinions from others as I want to make my own decisions clean of comments. If you give me your opinion on this, I will give you mine.”
Mourinho also commented on suggestions that he called West Brom’s Jonan Olsson a ‘Mickey Mouse’ player amid the heated exchanges at the end of the match.
“Giant players, giant coaches and giant clubs don’t speak about what happens in the tunnel,” he added, amid suggestions of bust-up in the tunnel between Chelsea and West Brom players. “Sometimes there are words [after a game], but the next day it is closed and it’s another day.”