While in the United Kingdom people are getting four years in prison for something they wrote on Facebook, in Spain justice can be somewhat slower and more lenient. Despite the evidence seen by everybody of the cowardly finger poke incident on Tito Vilanova, added to the not-quite-so-clear shot of Mourinho move on the prostrate Cesc Fabregas, the powers that be in Spanish football have failed to do anything. I would have thought the incident would have been dealt with by the Real Federación Española de Futbol (RFEF), but they have washed their hands of it saying it was “a rough disputed match” and that they would only look at what was in the referee’s report and that “the other was for the Comité de Competición. Luckily for Mourinho it seems unlikely he will be punished by a group presided by Alfredo Flórez Plaza who has shown favouritism towards Madrid since becoming Comité de Competición president in 2003.
Another sad point to mention on the subject is the manipulation of the incident on Spanish TV (tve1). I was watching the game on the Catalan channel (tv3) but apparently on the Spanish channel they ommitted the Mourinho finger and tried to make out Tito Vilanova was the villain for slapping the back of Mourinho’s head. In this sense I can report that Barça’s president Sandro Rosell has responded with an open public letter to the head of tve1 complaining about the manipulation. There is a certain miserable cowardly type in Spain that harks back to Franco’s regime, we see it in the political arena with some outrageous lies (after the Madrid bombings in particular), and some of this mentality unfortunately seems to get into the whole mentality of Real Madrid football club. In April we saw the manipulation of the Pepe sending off incident, and now we have Mourinho acting the innocent even after it is clear he has been caught.
Sadly, the Mourinho attitude is creeping into players who had previously seemed like honorable professionals like Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso. Casillas must have felt so ashamed when he saw the TV evidence that he called Carles Puyol to apologise. You have to feel sorry for some them a bit as it is normal to defend your team mates or your coach to the death. Unfortunately, it is a bit like discovering your wife likes to strip naked in shopping centres and you can’t help an initial absurd defence of her behaviour before realising that maybe it is time to leave the country.
To be honest, in a certain way I don’t give a damn whether Mourinho is punished or not, a touchline ban is basically ineffective in Spain as the coach just uses the latest technology to communicate with his number two, while fining him will also have no effect on such a wealthy person. Moreover, I feel that if Mourinho were to get a proper harsh punishment for his outrageous behaviour we would only have to suffer more of his complaining “¿por qué, ¿por qué? why do they always pick on me, it is all so unfair…
Aside from the Mourinho incident it probably hasn’t escaped your attention that La Liga is not starting this week due to a players’ strike over payments. I have read today that there is a possibility that this weeks’ games are not played ever making it a league of just 37 games. The report said nothing has been decided yet, and as the strike could extend to next week and even longer we may have a seriously affected league this year. This is just another example of how badly things are run in Spanish football; it often surprises me how the English Premier League is more popular than La Liga around the world as it seems clear to me that the best players are in Spain. but in Spain you don’t find out kick-off times until a week before the game and you might be playing in the middle of the night for all they care about the fans.