Mourinho claims victory following Ivanovic ruling
FA decide not to punish Branislav Ivanovic over his confrontation with Everton midfielder James McCarthy
It appears that Jose Mourinho was right to rubbish suggestions Branislav Ivanovic should face further sanction for his part in an ugly scuffle during Chelsea's 1-0 defeat of Everton on Wednesday night.
The Blues defender was involved in the incident that began late on in the encounter when Everton midfielder Gareth Barry tripped Willian. Barry was sent off but not before several players had squared up and "Ivanovic hooked James McCarthy around the neck with his arm and, as he dragged him away, appeared to lean into him with his head".
Toffees' boss Roberto Martinez said after the match – won for Chelsea by a late goal from Willian – that "Ivanovic's behaviour is wrong". He then added: "If you want to be on top of the law, that's a red card and we got nothing out of that moment."
Mourinho acted indignantly when it was suggested Ivanovic could be in trouble with the Football Association for grabbing McCarthy, exclaiming: "Don't make me laugh," when reporters asked about the incident. He then threatened to walk put of the press conference.
But the FA announced on Thursday night that Ivanovic will face no further action, explaining in their statement that: "For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence. In this instance, the panel did not believe the conduct was worthy of a dismissal."
There were allegations in the immediate aftermath of the confrontation at Stamford Bridge that Ivanovic may also have bitten McCarthy in the spat. But according to the Daily Mirror, the FA checked with Everton "as to whether McCarthy had complained of being bitten as has been suggested and they said nothing happened"
However, the governing body has charged Chelsea and Everton with failing "to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour". If found guilty both clubs could face a hefty fine, although the punishment could be greater for Everton as they were convicted of a similar offence earlier in the season. On that occasion they and West Ham were each fined £20,000 after the clubs admitted breaching FA Rules in relation to player conduct.
The latest charge is likely to feed Mourinho's paranoia. Last month the Special One complained that there is one rule for Chelsea and another for the rest of the Premier League. "Clearly with my club and in relation to myself there are different standards," he said after being charged by the FA in relation to comments he made after the Blues 1-1 draw with Southampton. "It's as simple as that and you know that."