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Chelsea's Jose Mourinho is fined after sarcastic praise for referees

LONDON -- The English Football Association has fined Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho 10,000 pounds (US$16,900) after bringing the game into disrepute with sarcastic comments about match officials after a shock defeat in the Premier League to Sunderland.

The FA announced the fine Thursday evening and also said the Portuguese had lost an appeal against a separate fine incurred at another league match against Aston Villa.

Following Chelsea's 2-1 defeat to Sunderland on April 19 — which saw his assistant Rui Faria sent to the stands and later given a six-match stadium ban — Mourinho sarcastically described referee Mike Dean's performance as “unbelievable” and “fantastic.” He was equally sarcastic about the performance of referees' head Mike Riley.

The FA found that Mourinho's comments, in themselves, did not question the officials' integrity but its statement said “an independent regulatory commission hearing found that the comments brought the game into disrepute and the charge for improper conduct was found proven.”

Mourinho can appeal against the fine.

The loss ended a 77-game undefeated run for Mourinho at Stamford Bridge during two different spells in charge of Chelsea and helped to derail the club's title challenge. With one game left, third-placed Chelsea cannot win as it is four points behind leader Manchester City.

Mourinho also failed in his appeal against a fine of 8,000 pounds ($13,500) for his conduct toward referee Chris Foy at the end of a 1-0 league defeat at Villa Park on March 15.

“Mourinho denied a breach of FA Rule E3 in that his behavior in re-entering the field of play and approaching the match referee in an attempt to speak to him, in or around the 90th minute of the game, amounted to improper conduct,” the FA said in the same statement. “The charge was found proven by an independent regulatory commission and that decision was upheld by an appeal panel on Thursday.”

Mourinho has now been fined three times this season for clashes with authority, the first coming against Cardiff on Oct. 19 when he was sent to the stands at Stamford Bridge and later fined 8,000 pounds (US$13,500) for persistently criticizing the referee's decisions. Chelsea won the league match 4-1.

After the charges in relation to the Sunderland match, Mourinho suggested the FA had lost its sense of humor.

“Every time I speak there is a consequence,” Mourinho said.

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