All hail Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who yesterday deflected attention from this weekend’s pending FA Cup final with a story that might well overshadow Neil Warnock’s unemployment….or Michael Vick’s troubles with Man’s Best Friend. From the Guardian’s Matthew Taylor.
The affair started on Monday night as Mourinho attended Chelsea’s Player of the Year awards where he got a call from his wife saying their Yorkshire terrier, Gullit was being taken away.On returning to his Belgravia home Mourinho allegedly became embroiled in an argument with police and animal welfare officers who wanted to put the dog in quarantine, fearing it had been taken abroad, then brought back to Britain, without jabs. Mourinho refused and in the melee Gullit was believed to have made a dash for freedom.
Having let the dog slip through their fingers officers decided to arrest Mourinho, who was then cautioned for obstructing the police. Scotland Yard said the dog was to be seized for alleged offences under the Animal Health Act of 1981 and the Rabies Order of 1974.
Mourinho, 44, insisted it had all been a “misunderstanding”. His spokesman said: “Mr Mourinho would like to make it clear that his pet dog was bought in England from a reputable breeder and has had all its necessary inoculations.”
A spokesman for the City Of London Corporation, which runs the animal health and welfare service, said: “Our main concern is to find and detain the dog pending our inquiries.”
There was confusion yesterday over whether Gullit was still at large. At a press conference held to discuss this weekend’s FA Cup final against Manchester United, Chelsea officials were saying Gullit had been found safe and well. But Westminster city council said they had had no reports of Gullit being found.
A dog warden, Lee Nash, said he had been searching in Belgravia with increasing urgency throughout the day. “I’ve been told to look for a Yorkshire terrier with a red bow,” he said. “I don’t know how big it is – but even a crow could take a miniature Yorkshire terrier.”