Real’s Mourinho Won’t Punish Pepe for Stepping on Messi’s Hand

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho said he won’t punish defender Pepe for stepping on the hand of Barcelona’s Lionel Messi.

The incident occurred during Barcelona’s 2-1 away win in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarterfinal three days ago. The Brazilian apologized to Messi the next day in a statement on Real’s website and said his action was unintentional.

Mourinho said he accepted his player’s explanation and included him in the squad list for tomorrow’s game against Athletic Bilbao.

“Pepe apologized and that’s enough for me,” Mourinho said today on Real’s website. “I’d only be angry if Pepe publically said what he did was unintentional after admitting privately that it was.”

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bob Bensch at bbensch@bloomberg.net

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