Phil Jones reacts to receiving a two game UEFA ban at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Phil Jones has expressed his bemusement at receiving a two game ban for “abusive” language towards a UEFA doping official in the wake of Manchester United’s Europa League triumph in Stockholm.

The Englishman, despite having not played the game, was selected for the mandatory doping test after the game and, well, he wasn’t best pleased.

He was hauled away amidst celebrations of a hard-fought Europa League victory and right before the squad posed with a banner commemorating the victims of the Manchester attack in May.

And Jones, whilst acknowledging the expletives used, noted that a two game ban on top of a €5,000 fine was excessive.

“Anyone can understand that, in a situation like that, maybe there was language that was inappropriate, but it definitely wasn’t direct to the official himself,” he said.

“I definitely didn’t look him in his eye and say that he was a this and that. Looking back on it now, did I deserve a fine? Possibly. But a two-game ban is a bit out of the ordinary.”

The transcript of what Jones said to the doping official reads something like this: “He then told me I was a f***** doing this and that I had a f****** job and how I could be so f****** stupid to consider having such a f****** job.”

“I told him that this was the UEFA regulations and that my job was to do the control. He still continued to tell me I had a f****** job and how I even could do that job.”

This, to me, sounds like a torrent of anger directed at nothing in particular. This is an episode of blind fury rather than direct animosity. He deserves a fine and a clip around the ears, of course, but UEFA’s skewed logic states that making a malicious two foot challenge that breaks somebody’s leg is actually not as bad as one of their officials getting sworn at.

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