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Stewart Coggin

Slap on the Wrist for a Poke in the Eye

By October 6, 2011

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Jose Mourinho was 'punished' on Wednesday in the very loosest sense of the word. For his absurd and calculated attack on Barcelona assistant Tito Vilanova in August's Supercopa match, the fiery Real Madrid coach was given a ban of...wait for it...two matches. Two future Supercopa matches, that is.

So if any of La Liga's other 19 coaches fancy a stroll into the other team's dugout to jab a finger in the eye of an opponent this season, they can rest assured that the penalty will merely be a couple of matches sat out in the stands. Oh, and a 600 euro fine. If the victim retaliates by pushing back, he shall we banned for one match, as was the case with Vilanova.

Mourinho calmly walked over and attacked Vilanova after Marcelo's lunge on Barca debutant Cesc Fabregas sparked a mass brawl on the touchline. After the game Barca defender Gerard Pique asserted: "Someone has to take action on the matter. Mourinho is destroying Spanish football".

But the Spanish Football Federation's (RFEF) ruling gives a whole new meaning to the word spineless. This was the ideal opportunity to make an example of Mourinho who, since arriving in Spain in the face of Barcelona dominance, has made some outrageous statements about the game's authorities, routinely complained about the Catalans and clearly instructed his team to undertake spoiling tactics against their rivals on the pitch.

Mourinho's behavior and that of his players in the Clasico has spiralled out of control in 2011 and the RFEF have passed up the perfect opportunity to restore some semblance of sportsmanship with this pathetic ruling.

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