Here’s Why Mourinho Wants Manchester United’s Europa League Clash To Be Called Off

Reuters / Maxim Shemetov

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is extremely angry with the state of the pitch at Olimp-2 and reportedly wants the Europa League tie to be called off. United are to play Russian club Rostov in the last-16 first leg on Thursday.

Mourinho reportedly fears for his players, and would like the tie to be rescheduled despite an already congested fixture schedule. He said that it was unbelievable the Red Devils were expected to play on a patchwork surface.

“It’s still hard for me to believe we are going to play tomorrow. I know we have to, but it is hard for me to believe we are going to play tomorrow in that field – if you can call it a field,” said Mourinho.

The Portuguese compared it to the Olympic Stadium in Beijing.“I don’t know. I have now a lot to think because I was expecting something more playable in a vert similar pitch in the summer in China we and Manchester City decided not to play, but it looks like we have to play.”

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Manchester United were supposed to play Manchester City in Beijing during pre-season, before both teams decided to pull out because of the bad state of the pitch. The former Chelsea manager also said that he hadn’t formally complained yet.

“I didn’t have any contact with anyone until now [about the pitch]. I just had a quick contact with one gentleman from UEFA when I was looking at the pitch and when I told him about my concerns, the gentleman told me the players are insured, so if something happens, no problem.”

The 54-year old added he hadn’t thought much about the game either, saying: “And I don’t know what team to play, really. I don’t know if Henrikh Mkhitaryan is going to play.

“I don’t know, I really don’t know. I was analysing these very good opponents that we didn’t speak about yet.”

He also declined from commenting on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s three match ban, handed out by the England FA.


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