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What conspiracy?

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 08:31 PM PDT

Ancelotti, Wenger brush aside Mourinho's claims

Friday, April 29th, 2011 11:12:00

Football

SORE LOSER: Uefa to probe Mourinho's (right) outburst

LONDON: Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti dismissed Jose Mourinho's claims of a Barcelona conspiracy — instead putting their repeated favourable decisions down to coincidence.

Ancelotti, who has won the Champions League twice, said: "I don't think there is a conspiracy. Football is football. Maybe referees make mistakes but I want to think everything is okay and clear. This is my work. I want to believe that in the game there are mistakes, referees, managers, players but no conspiracy.

"I know (referee Wolfgang Stark) very well. He's not a referee who can be intimidated. He has a strong personality.

"Of course, it happened to me at Barcelona, with Milan, when Andriy Shevchenko scored a good goal in the semifinal that was disallowed. It was also a German referee, Markus Merk, but it was a mistake.

"I think it's coincidence that it keeps on happening, not conspiracy."

And Ancelotti warned his old rival Mourinho that he must remember his position in the game.

"I can understand his disappointment because it was not a clear red card but managers have to have a social responsibility as well," said the Italian.

"When you are on television and you are speaking to the fans you have a social responsibility. This is normal.

"But I don't think he damaged football. Everybody knows Mourinho and that he likes to play mind-games. He is fantastic at that. He used them again and then had that disappointment. Usually he respects the rules."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also insisted Barca's luck with big refereeing decisions was "accidental".

For the record, Mourinho claimed there was a Uefa conspiracy to ensure the Catalans go through to the Champions League final.

The Gunners also suffered a controversial call in the second round when Robin van Persie was sent off in the noisy Nou Camp for playing on after the whistle.

But Wenger said: "I refuse to believe that because the day I believe that, it's impossible to manage. This season, they had certainly some advantages. I feel that they were accidental.

"I don't want to go that road.

"You have to accept that when a manager comes out of a big game like that, and you have a disappointment, you have to accept that you can sometimes go a bit too far. But I refuse to believe that there is, let's say, a script behind the stage and that Barca are advantaged. I feel that they over-react, certainly, but Barca play certainly the best football at the moment in Europe and you have to give them credit for that."

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Real, Barca charged by Uefa over Bernabeu incidents

Posted: 28 Apr 2011 08:23 PM PDT

Friday, April 29th, 2011 11:12:00

LONDON: Uefa have opened disciplinary cases against Real Madrid and Barcelona over incidents during Wednesday's fiery Champions League first-leg semifinal at Santiago Bernabeu.

Barca's 2-0 win was marred by incidents on and off the pitch.

Real have been charged in relation to Pepe's sending off, Jose Mourinho's dismissal to the stands, throwing missiles on the pitch, a pitch invasion and Mourinho's inappropriate statement to the media after the game.

Mourinho vented his fury after his side had Pepe sent off for a challenge on Barcelona defender Dani Alves with the Portuguese being sent from the dugout.

The former Chelsea and Inter Milan manager then suggested in his post-match Press conference that there is a refereeing conspiracy in favour of Barca after blasting the performance of German official Wolfgang Stark.

Barca have been charged for the red card picked up by substitute goalkeeper Jose Pinto following a bust-up between both benches at the end of the first-half.

Both cases will be heard by Uefa's disciplinary board on May 6. Meanwhile, head of German referees Herbert Fandel defended Stark's performance.

"I am enthusiastic. Stark did an excellent job and I am proud of his performance," he told DPA.

"It was a high-level performance in an incredibly difficult game. There are not many referees in Europe who could direct a game like this."

But Fandel was not eager to get drawn into pitched battles with the "Special One".

"Mourinho's opinion? I don't care," he said.

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