- Associated Press - Friday, July 29, 2011

NYON, SWITZERLAND (AP) - Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is appearing before UEFA’s appeal panel to challenge his five-match ban from Champions League matches.

Mourinho accused UEFA and its referees of a long-standing conspiracy to help rival Barcelona after his team lost 2-0 in a semifinal first-leg match in April. He was also sent from the dugout during the game.

UEFA’s disciplinary body said the Portuguese coach made “inappropriate” comments.

Mourinho is currently banned from entering the stadium and communicating with players and coaches at Madrid’s next three group-stage matches.

He was banned for the return leg in Barcelona, and another match of his ban was suspended for three years.

UEFA’s verdict is expected later Friday.

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