The Mourinho Finger Aftermath (and more on the players’ strike)

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.

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6 Responses to The Mourinho Finger Aftermath (and more on the players’ strike)

  1. Fredegar says:

    Is this really true, that Casillas phoned Puyol to apologise cos’ he was ashamed? Do you have more on it or is it just a rumour?
    Cos’ I think that could prove very important over the season. Something Mourinho has always been good at was to reunite the players behind him, but already from the start it proved a bit difficult at Madrid. He never got along well with Ronaldo, the least said about Kaka the better, and there was a sense that the Spanish players were not happy with everything that was going on. And now with players like Sahin or Altintop who will see very little action…
    Madrid are a formidable team, but they will need to be united if they want to compete with us, and nothing could feel sweeter for me than Mourinho reducing his own chances of success through his terrible character that would alienate him his players!

    As for the strike, it was time that something was done. It could look a bit harsh that professional footballers go on strike in a country like Spain where they have their fair share of concerns, but I’ve read somewhere that something like 30% of players have not seen a part of their salary in the last two years. And of course, most of them are the ones who earn the less, so if you’re not paid over a year…
    Swiss goalkeeper Coltorti played for Santander the last four years and has not been paid for the last. He also said that in Spain, contrary to Germany, you can’t cancel your contract if you’re not paid so must go on playing for nothing.
    Spain’s game is really in a sorry state of affairs, makes for a fun reading on Tim Stannards’ blogs, but it’s all really a bit worrying.

  2. barcacentralnic says:

    There’s an interesting article on Casillas in El Pais today – I’m afraid it’s in Spanish but it basically says that at first Casillas kept his distance from Mourinho because he did not share his philosophy, but Florentino Perez called Casillas last February to urge him to be more publicly supportive of Mourinho in the interests of Real Madrid and since then Casillas has toed the line. However, it seems that after seeing the images of the incident the other night Casillas has realised he was mistaken to claim that Fabregas has dived. He was man enough to rectify by calling Xavi and when he couldn’t get through to Xavi he called Puyol. But how will this affect the Madrid dressing room? well I don’t think Casillas is going to go out and out rebellion against Mourinho as he loves Real Madrid too much, and I don’t see him as being rebellious enough to try and remove Mourinho, certainly not at the moment anyway, so they’ll just have a smouldering undercurrent of ill-feeling and we’ll just have to wait and see if one day this will erupt..

  3. BlaugranaBoy says:

    I heard that Villa insulted Ozil and taunted his religion, Islam 😦

  4. jamie says:

    BlaugranaBoy, there is no thruth in what you heard whatsoever, that is just a rumour started on a page (now deleted) by a Madrid fan-website, and later denied by Khedira and also Ozil himself. During the brawl between Villa and Ozil, Abidal is standing right next to Villa. You really think Villa is going to insult islam with Abidal right there next to him? I’ts very disturbing that people can just make stuff up and a large part of the world just picks it up without question. It’s really pathetic that they have to abuse Islam and play on the sensitiveness of people to get them to hate a Barcelona player. And it shows exactly what a low-life, classless scum Club and fans Real Madrid really are. Like I said. Pathetic…

    • Josher says:

      i totally agree, i never believed the rumor for a second. what i do believe is that i’ve never seen ozil so upset and irrational. it certainly seems like the aggression was directed at Villa so obviously something happened.
      not to spread more rumors but apart from the islam insult rumor i heard that villa punched ozil and ozil kicked him and it spread from there. any idea if this is true?

      • Jordi says:

        The last (or previous to last) rumour says Ozil stepped on Fabregas while he was lying at the floor, and Villa pushed him hard, so the brawl got started and ended with both players hitting each other and being sent out by the referee

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