Matic ban ‘damages football’

The Chelsea midfielder is banned for Sunday’s League Cup final after he reacted to a heavy Ashley Barnes tackle last weekend by shoving the Burnley man to the ground.

Matic had his ban shortened from three games to two during the week, but that reduction failed to pacify Mourinho, who blasted??Barnes’ ‘career-ending’ tackle.

Mourinho refused to comment further at his Friday press conference, but he revisited the subject at a later briefing and claimed English football’s reputation is in danger of being undermined.

“We must take care of our football,” he said. “It’s not about how many millions are watching on television. It’s about the feeling and respect and credibility, what people think about it.

“Strong credibility. This is something English football cannot lose. You lose credibility when a player like Matic is suspended, and another player can play this weekend.

“I don’t think you can have any doubt that all around the world people open??their mouths with surprise at how this can be possible.”

Mourinho has complained about a perceived ‘campaign’ against Chelsea this season which he believes has affected refereeing performances.

Speaking ahead of Wembley he said: ??”It’s easy to cope with a mistake. It’s not easy to cope with lots of mistakes. It’s not easy. We try. Hopefully the final is a good final.”