FA Cup: Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho issues public apology to referee Kevin Friend after win over Watford
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 05/01/15 10:43am
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho issued both a public and private apology to Kevin Friend after criticising the referee's performance to camera following the 3-0 FA Cup win over Watford.
Mourinho aired his unhappiness with the official for missing what he believed to be a blatant penalty in the build-up to the Blues' second goal, scored by Loic Remy, in his post-match television interview on Sunday.
Watford defender Craig Cathcart appeared to block Diego Costa's shot with his hands before Remy volleyed in the rebound - his goal adding to Willian's opener before defender Kurt Zouma bagged the third at Stamford Bridge.
But after discussing the incident and saying sorry to Friend privately, Mourinho retracted his remarks in front of the press.
“We had a big penalty in our favour but I was speaking to the referee and I want to apologise for my comments about him earlier on television," Mourinho said.
“What he did was great refereeing. He saw that it was a penalty and was going to give it but he saw that the ball was going to Remy, and he waited a couple of seconds.
“He said if Remy did not control the ball or fired the ball over the bar, he would have definitely given the penalty. So I have apologised to him personally and I am apologising now.”
Mourinho has spoken of a campaign against his team in terms of refereeing decisions in recent weeks, and heavily criticised official Phil Dowd for his performance during Chelsea's 5-3 defeat at Tottenham on New Year's Day.
But the Portuguese manager insists the media has got his theory of a campaign all wrong and asked Chelsea's press officer Steve Atkins to clarify his stance on the issue.
Bates said: “Jose is not saying there has been a campaign against them from referees.
“He's saying that coaches, media and pundits are part of a campaign, over a period of time, talking about Chelsea and incidents, and not talking about incidents and other teams.”