It’s ok kids! Not a problem at all! If you want to poke your opponent in the eye, that’s cool. At least it would appear that way judging from the joke decision of the Real Federación Española de Fútbol (RFEF). Following the infamous finger incident in the Spanish Supercup 2nd leg on August 18, José Mourinho has been given a two-game ban but this punishment can only correspond to Supercup games which Mourinho may never even compete in again. Oh, I nearly forgot, he also received a massive fine of €600 but he doesn’t need to worry about that as Real Madrid will foot the bill. Did I mention that Tito Vilanova received an identical punishment except he gets a one-match rather than a two-match supercup ban? Obviously being eye-poked is nearly as bad as eye-poking which perhaps says something about life in 2011. Alright, I accept that Vilanova turned to push Mourinho from behind but one might fairly say that Tito had been provoked by the eye-prod. However, judging by the decision it would seem the RFEF have decided to believe the special one’s insinuations that things had gone on before in the tunnel and Tito was the provocateur. Mourinho, who later claimed (read lied) that he didn’t know who Vilanova was, cannot really be relied on as a credible witness, as he also has a history of releasing these stories of behind-the-scenes happenings (Rijkaard supposedly looking for favours with referee Anders Frisk) without any evidence to back himself up with.
José Mourinho provokes somebody practically every time he opens his mouth. I’m not saying Tito Vilanova is totally innocent but what is the evidence against him? Apart from Tito’s immediate reaction to the finger we only have Mourinho’s abstract accusation of anything else. So what did happen in the tunnel? Did Vilanova call Mourinho a name? Or did he walk into Madrid’s dressing room and take a dump in Mourinho’s kit-bag? Whatever it was, (and if you think about it, it really can’t have been all that much) it is no justification for Mourinho to behave as he did. The image for the game was severely damaged and from Mourinho’s comments since the incident there are no signs of any remorse on his part. The decision from the RFEF today make things very clear: don’t worry José, you can do whatever you like, we will protect you and Real Madrid as that is more important than protecting the integrity of Spanish football.