José Mourinho has accused Cardiff City of deliberately wasting time and, as a result, Chelsea fans' money after addressing the issue that has prompted a charge of improper conduct from the Football Association.
The FA announced on Tuesday night that it is pursuing sanctions against the Chelsea manager, who was sent to the stands by the referee, Anthony Taylor, shortly after his team had taken the lead with 20 minutes remaining against City.
Mourinho can contest the charge until Thursday's 6pm deadline. If he chooses to accept it he will receive the standard fine of £8,000 but taking the matter further would run the risk of a heftier financial penalty.
Mourinho had not spoken after the 4-1 win over Cardiff – for which tickets cost from £36 to £70 – and, as he undertook his media duties before the Champions League tie at Schalke, was asked for his thoughts on the validity of his team's first goal, scored by Eden Hazard after Samuel Eto'o had illegally nicked the ball away from David Marshall as the Cardiff goalkeeper bounced it.
"If I was in that game and I was paying for my ticket, I would be worried by the fact every time the ball was out or stopped and our opponent had to put the ball back in the game, it took a median of 21.5 seconds," Mourinho said. "That is a waste of money. You pay your ticket and every time the game stops you have to wait about half a minute?
"When you multiply that by the number of times the game was stopped … you pay for 90 minutes but you see 55 or 60. For me, that's breaking the rules. Scoring a goal with a hand, that breaks the rules. Score a goal that was not a goal, as happened in Germany last week [in the game between Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen], that's not funny. That is a rule. But [on Saturday] someone did an intelligent action.
"When I arrived home the first thing I told my kid, who likes to play goalkeeper, was: 'See the goal and don't do that, eh?' And he's 12. But if, in this moment, Fifa says that it's a foul, it's a foul. But I think Samuel did well. Maybe the referee did wrong; I don't know, to be fair. But in my opinion, that should be allowed as it was for years. No contact with the goalkeeper, nothing to stop the goalkeeper to make a quick kick … even with space he took 30 seconds. The goalkeeper has six seconds to have the ball, correct? They had almost half a minute. That's breaking the rules. So Samuel didn't break the rules."
Taylor could yet find himself demoted from the Premier League fixtures in two weekends' time after failing to rule out Hazard's equaliser. The Cardiff manager, Malky Mackay, claimed the referee and his assistant had seen Marshall drop the ball rather than bounce it, despite his very deliberate action, though the official has been given Aston Villa's game against Everton this weekend. The referees' evaluator and the match delegate from Saturday will submit their marks by Friday, with any "rest" from the elite then incurred the following week.