12 Jul 2012

Barca still furious over lifting of Mourinho eye-poke ban

12:11 pm on 12 July 2012

Barcelona have fired another salvo in a dispute with Real Madrid and the Spanish football federation over the lifting of Real coach Jose Mourinho's two-match ban for poking Barca assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye.

The clash over the federation's move on Tuesday to exonerate Mourinho suggests the bad blood that has marred relations between the clubs in recent years is set to spill over into the 2012-13 season beginning next month.

Barca spokesman Toni Freixa says the club is angry and believes an aggression like Mourinho's should not go unpunished, calling the Portuguese's actions "treacherous".

Barca believe the federation's decision, part of a general amnesty for sanctioned players and coaches, damages the image of Spanish football and can only encourage further aggression.

Mourinho, a former Barca assistant coach, was initially banned after attacking Vilanova, who has since taken over as first-team coach from Pep Guardiola, from behind during a Super Cup match last August.

His punishment was rescinded by football federation president Angel Maria Villar, who traditionally forgives some players and coaches after sealing re-election.