Mourinho handed three-match ban

Jose Mourinho has been given a three-match ban and fined 40,000 euros following his handcuffs gesture at the weekend.

The incident took place in the game against Sampdoria on Saturday.

Inter defenders Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba both saw red during the goalless draw at the San Siro, promoting Mourinho to cross his arms in a gesture which has been interpreted as his way of suggesting his side were being victimised by officials.

The gesture during the Serie A clash followed his jibe on Friday when he said: “I don’t stick my head in the sand, I know there is only one team [in Italy] that has a penalty area 25 metres long.”

There he was referring to a penalty awarded to Juventus when Alessandro Del Piero was fouled outside the area and his comments and behaviour have provoked anger among referees and club administrators.

The suspension refers to Serie A matches meaning he will be banned from the dugout for the games against Udinese, Genoa and Catania as Inter look to maintain their lead at the top of the table.

As well as Mourinho’s ban, Sulley Muntari and Esteban Cambiasso were suspended for two games, the former for insulting match officials while the latter was punished for attempting to punch a Sampdoria player.

With Walter Samuel and Ivan Cordoba receiving automatic one-match bans, it means Inter will be severely depleted as they look to shake off the challenge of Roma, who have reduced their lead at the top of the table to five points.

Inter were furious after Saturday’s game, imposing a media blackout, and such was the anger at Mourinho, referees reportedly threatened to strike if they deemed the Nerazzurri boss had not been sufficiently punished.

The sanction was imposed by the Lega Calcio, who stated it was because Mourinho “repeatedly challenged the officials, especially by mimicking handcuffs with his wrists and arms crossed, and faced the crowds and television cameras…. Also, he insulted the referee and his assistants in the tunnel and also repeatedly insulted officials.”

The furore comes only 48 hours before Inter host Chelsea in the first leg of their knockout clash in the Champions League, with goalkeeper Julio Cesar a doubt for the Italians after suffering minor injuries in a car accident.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Brazilian suffered bruising to his face following the incident, which happened when Cesar was driving his Lamborghini near the San Siro.

Although he was not seriously hurt, the 30-year-old missed training today in order to rest.

While the club have moved to ease concerns, the incident calls into question Cesar’s involvement at the San Siro on Wednesday as Mourinho faces his former club for the first time since his acrimonious exit from Chelsea in September 2007.

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