Rugby referee Nigel Owens would “love” to officiate a football fixture and deal with the “unacceptable behaviour” of coaches “like Jose Mourinho”.

Owens will officiate during the Rugby World Cup, which starts on Friday.

In 2013-14, Chelsea boss Mourinho was twice sent to the stands by referees for complaining about decisions.

“If you had coaches in rugby having a go at referees like Jose Mourinho and some others do, they’d be dealt with more firmly,” Owens said.

Mourinho was fined £25,000 by the Football Association in January for claiming there was a “campaign” to influence referees’ decisions against his Chelsea side.


In March 2014 he was sent to the stands for protestations over a red card given to midfielder Ramires against Aston Villa. Five months earlier he suffered the same fate for persistently questioning referee Anthony Taylor’s decisions against Cardiff.

Speaking to the Radio Times,  Owens said that if he took charge of a football match “I’m afraid they’d be down to five-a-side before half-time”.

Welshman Owens acted as assistant referee in the 2011 World Cup final between New Zealand and France.

He also officiated at the 2007 World Cup and was only the second man to referee two consecutive Heineken Cup finals – in 2008 and 2009.