Dejan Stefanovic [a world players’ union member] has tendered unreserved apologies to Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, for saying the Portuguese should be “sent to prison” after an alleged disrespect to Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Image: Jose Mourinho
Dejan Stefanovic, a lawyer and FifPro member from Slovenia, told BBC Sport: “It’s clear bullying. In Slovenia, we would have indicted Mourinho and asked for the highest penalty — three years in prison.
“This is clearly meant to discourage Bastian. Mourinho is setting a bad example. I would take it to the ordinary court.
“In our case, the penal code is quite clear. If there is bullying and harassment, there’s a prison sanction, a maximum of three years in prison.
“Schweinsteiger should turn to the Professional Footballers’ Association and he should file a complaint and I would also seek penalty for Mourinho.
“All the players of the first team have to train with the coaches of the first team at the same place, at the same time as all other teammates.
“That’s something that should be applied to each and every club and should be written within FIFA regulations.”
Stefanovic felt it right for Mourinho to face sanctions from world governing bodies for humiliating and discriminating against a top-class player like Schweinsteiger, forcing the German out of Old Trafford.
The 32-year-old Schweinsteiger has reportedly been training with the reserves this summer.
In the wake of criticisms from Stefanovic against the former Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager for rough-handling a 2014 World Cup Champion, Mou said at a press conference on Friday: “What is happening is what is happening in every club in the world. Which is that the manager decides his squad and chooses a certain number of players to face the season, and that’s it.
“I normally like to work with 20 players plus the three goalkeepers, which is what I do for 15 years. But we have so many players, so many competitions, especially the Europa League, which changes the profile of the season a lot.
“You have the big risk of travelling a lot, playing Premier League. So I made the decision to play with 23 players and two goalkeepers, which is a lot. I had to make my decisions, it’s simple.”
However the League Managers’ Association, while calling his comments “totally inappropriate,” told the BBC on Thursday that Stefanovic “has apologised to Mr. Mourinho.”
The LMA said that Stefanovic was not speaking on behalf of FifPro, the world players’ union, adding: “Mr. Stefanovic has stated that his comments appear to have been misinterpreted.”
Schweinsteiger [a former Bayern Munich player] arrived at Old Trafford last summer and made only 13 Premier League starts during the 2015-16 season under former Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal. He has battled series of injuries.