Mourinho defends Chelsea players over intimidation tactics

LONDON (AP) — Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has defended the actions of his players following accusations that they intimidate referees on the field.

Chelsea was criticized after nine of the team’s players surrounded referee Bjorn Kuipers to persuade him to punish Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for fouling Oscar during a Champions League game on Wednesday.

Ibrahimovic, who was given a straight red card, described the Chelsea players as “babies.”

In defense of his players, Mourinho pointed out Friday that Chelsea has only been fined once this season for failing to control its players — during last month’s Premier League match against Everton. He said the players paid the fine.

Chelsea captain John Terry says badgering the referee is “part of the game” and “you have to stick up for your teammates.”