Jose Mourinho 'should be jailed' for bullying Bastian Schweinsteiger
New Manchester United manager comes under fire from players' union for giving German international the cold shoulder
United boss Jose Mourinho should be banged up. That's the extraordinary demand from Dejan Stefanovic, a leading member of the worldwide players’ union Fifpro.
In an interview with BBC World Service Sport, Stefanovic said that Mourinho's treatment of Manchester United outcast Bastian Schweinsteiger was tyrannical and warranted jail time. "It's clear bullying," stormed the Slovenian lawyer. "In Slovenia, we would have indicted Mourinho and asked for the highest penalty - three years in prison."
While United's rivals may claim that managing Zlatan Ibrahimovic is its own form of punishment, the Fifpro member continued his attack, accusing Mourinho of "setting a bad example". He added: "I would take it to the ordinary court."
Schweinsteiger signed for United 12 months ago when Louis van Gaal was still in charge, and his first season at Old Trafford was disrupted by injuries and poor form. Since the arrival of Mourinho earlier in the summer it's become apparent that the veteran German isn't part of his plans. He was a noticeable absentee from the United squad that played Everton in Wayne Rooney's testimonial on Wednesday, and rumours have linked Schweinsteiger with a return to Bayern Munich.
In an interview with Sky Sports News HQ another leading Fifpro figure, Raymond Baard, echoed Stefanovic's sentiments, saying: "Schweinsteiger has been put in a situation where Manchester United are trying to force him to move on and leave the club. He was hired for a particular job, let him train with the first team. It doesn't set a good example for other clubs around the world".
While Schweinsteiger can at least console himself with the thought that every week that passes at Old Trafford enriches him to the tune of around £200,000, Stefanovic said that the German should seek guidance from the Professional Footballers' Association and Mourinho must bring him back into the fold.
"All the players of the first team have to train with the coaches of the first team at the same place, at the same time as all other team-mates," he said. "That's something that should be applied to each and every club and should be written within Fifa regulations."
Bayern have added their voice to the chorus of criticism at Mourinho's attitude towards their former golden boy with club president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge declaring that he "could hardly believe" the way Schweinsteiger has been treated. "One or two players are going to think long and hard about whether they want to go to such a club. Nothing like that has ever happened at Bayern Munich.”