Man Utd's Phil Jones Slams UEFA Over 'Harsh' 2-Match Ban Following Doping Official Abuse Allegations
Phil Jones has spoken out over the two-match ban he received from UEFA, after he allegedly abused a doping official following May's Europa League triumph.
The Manchester United defender was quoted in the Telegraph as he revealed his version of events in the immediate aftermath of his club's title success against Ajax in Stockholm.
Jones was handed a two-game suspension by UEFA and fined €5,000 after he reportedly called one doping officer a "f***er" but, after claiming that he didn't direct foul language at any one individual, the 26-year-old queried why his ban was longer than those handed out to players who committed bad fouls on the pitch.
He said: “To be honest I couldn’t believe it. It’s slightly harsh. You see players go in for leg-breaking challenges and they get a one-game ban or a two-game ban. I could understand if I didn’t comply with the rules but I did, oh well that’s football, that’s what they’ve seen.
“Anyone can understand that in a situation like that maybe there was language that was inappropriate but it definitely wasn’t directed to the official himself. I definitely didn’t look at him in his eye and say that he was 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.”
Phil Jones is still only 25. I sense Mourinho is going to help him realise the potential he's had since Blackburn days. Top defender— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) August 26, 2017
Jones was also believed to have called his random doping test "f***ing stupid" after he was prevented from celebrating with his team mates following their 2-0 final victory.
He was also stopped from taking part in an official photograph to pay tribute to the victims of May's Manchester bomb attack - the rest of United's squad doing so with a banner reading 'Manchester - a City United' - and called UEFA out on not allowing him to pay his respects to those who lost their lives.
He added: “It’s not as if we had just won the Mickey Mouse league; we had won the Europa League. I’m sure anyone can understand you work so hard all year round to win a prestige competition like that, and someone says you can’t celebrate with your team.
"We had planned to do the banner for the Manchester attacks. It is quite close considering we are a Manchester team but it wasn’t to be. I fully complied with rules and did my urine sample, did my blood sample and ended up with a two-game ban.”
Jones has already sat out one match of his ban due to United's participation in the Super Cup clash with Real Madrid, and will complete his suspension when the Red Devils face Basel in the Champions League in September.