Mourinho in denial over Chelsea diving

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho insists his players do not dive but says eradicating it from the English game could hurt Premier League teams in Europe.

Ramires became the second Chelsea player in as many games to be cautioned for simulation when he was handed a yellow card by referee Andre Marriner during a 2-0 win over Derby County in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

Fellow Brazilian Oscar received the same punishment from Martin Atkinson against Southampton in the Premier League on New Year’s Day, and while Mourinho backs calls to stop diving in the English game he believes there could be repercussions in European competition.

“I maintain it [Chelsea players do not dive], they [the incidents involving Ramires and Oscar] are isolated episodes,” Mourinho said after Chelsea’s win at Pride Park. “This time I didn’t watch on TV but Marriner was so close, so if he made that decision it is because he is right.

“The last time [on] Oscar just was completely correct; this time I didn’t speak yet with Ramires but if the referee was there then perfect. The reason [the two players were booked] was the referees were very good. In other clubs there are divers and they are not booked; we had two of the best referees in the country and in Europe.”

The manager insists simulation is not part of a strategy but a crackdown could hinder English teams.

“I don’t know [if others encourage diving] – we do the opposite, but I am worried about the European competitions,” he said. “I know English teams will be punished in European competitions because we are all fighting against it, but in the Champions League and Europa League we will get referees from other countries, players without the education that we are trying to do, and in the Champions League and Europa League something against English teams will happen for sure.

“The referees are attacking it [diving]; the managers supporting the referees; we are doing well; let’s see if the others do the same as us.”

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