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Soccer-Mourinho fined over referee comments after key defeat

Reuters

LONDON, May 8 (Reuters) - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been fined 10,000 pounds ($17,000) after sarcastically praising the match referee and English referees' chief following a key Premier League defeat last month, the FA said on Thursday.

The Londoners lost 2-1 at home to a struggling Sunderland side, which ended Mourinho's 77-game unbeaten league record at Stamford Bridge and hit their title bid, with Manchester City now poised to wrap up the championship this weekend.

"I want to congratulate again (referee) Mike Dean. I think his performance was unbelievable," Mourinho told reporters after a controversial Sunderland penalty, which led to his assistant Rui Faria being sent to the stands after a pitchside rant.

"And... congratulations also to Mike Riley, the referees' boss. What they are doing through the whole season is fantastic, especially in the last couple of months, and in teams involved in the title race. Absolutely fantastic," Mourinho added.

Mourinho had denied the misconduct charge but the FA said in a statement on Thursday that an independent commission had ruled that his comments had brought the game into disrepute and the charge for improper conduct was found proven.

Faria has already been handed a six-match stadium ban and a 30,000 pounds fine after admitting misconduct charges.

In a separate case involving another defeat for Chelsea in the title run-in, the often outspoken Mourinho lost his appeal against a decision to fine him 8,000 pounds in relation to his actions after Chelsea's 1-0 loss at Aston Villa in March.

The Portuguese coach entered the field of play and approached the referee at the end of the game and the FA panel on Thursday upheld a ruling of improper conduct.

($1 = 0.5899 British Pounds) (Writing by Mark Meadows; editing by Ken Ferris)

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