‘If I answer I’m going to be in trouble’ – Jose Mourinho stays silent on Tottenham star Eric Dier’s ban
Jose Mourinho chose to stay silent when he was asked for his response to Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier’s four-match ban.
But, reading between the lines, it’s clear the manager is not happy about the decision.
Dier has been handed the sanction after he climbed into the stand following Spurs’ FA Cup exit to Norwich back in March to confront a fan who was arguing with his brother.
An independent panel ruled it was not his sole intention to protect his brother when he entered the stands that his behaviour was ‘objectively threatening’.
Mourinho had previously said he did not expect Dier to receive any punishment, but he has now been slapped with a four-match ban by the Football Association.
But the Spurs boss decided to keep his counsel when asked about it ahead of Thursday’s Premier League trip to Bournemouth, in fears of being punished himself if he said what he really thought.
He did say, however, that Tottenham are unlikely to lodge an appeal.
“No reaction,” Mourinho said when asked about Dier’s ban.
“I prefer no reaction. I am not going to answer, if I answer I am going to be in trouble and I don’t want to be. So no comment on that.”
On a possible appeal he added: “I don’t think so, if you appeal you have other risks.
“At least let’s start next season without a suspension. We all know how it works at these FA decisions.
“You have access if you want to the record of successful appeals and unsuccessful appeals. I don’t think so, I don’t think we’re going to appeal.”
The 26-year-old accepted the misconduct charge, but denied his behaviour was threatening and argued his intention was only to protect his brother Patrick.
The spectator involved admitted to police in a statement that he was acting like ‘an idiot’ and did not feel threatened by Dier’s actions.
However, the panel chose not to believe the statement, which was not released by police and had to be communicated to the process via Dier’s solicitor, instead deciding the fan was scared based on video footage.
The fan was shown racing towards an exit as Dier climbed the stands, while another piece of footage, which appears pivotal in the case, captured Dier going towards the fan rather than his brother.
The written reasons from the panel in the case read: “We are quite satisfied on the balance of probabilities, that Eric Diers’s conduct in (1) chasing the spectator through the well populated stand; (2) passing through supporters; (3) causing some to move out of his way; (4) over the distance; (5) for the time; and (6) in the manner he did, was objectively threatening.
“We appreciate some filmed the incident and others simply watched. But, that of itself does not prevent it being, when viewed objectively, threatening.
“His conduct caused or contributed to the spectator fleeing. It is also no doubt why a number of people held him back from exit 103 and stopped him from pursuing the fleeing spectator.
“Eric Dier’s conduct may not have been threatening to those holding him back, but we are satisfied it was threatening towards the spectator, and also when viewed objectively.”