London - Jose Mourinho believes the credibility of English football has been damaged by the handling of the Nemanja Matic and Ashley Barnes incident.
Blues midfielder Matic will miss Sunday's League Cup final against Tottenham after his sending off in last weekend's Premier League clash with Burnley, when he took exception to a challenge by Barnes which Mourinho later called "criminal".
Mourinho has spoken of a "clear campaign" against his Chelsea side this season and thinks the fact Matic was banned by the Football Association but Barnes escaped punishment undermines English football's long-standing fair-play status.
"We must take care of our football," Mourinho said. "It's not about how many millions are watching on television. It's about the feeling and respect and credibility, what people think about it.
"Strong credibility. This is something English football cannot lose.
"You lose credibility when a player like Matic is suspended, and another player can play this weekend.
"I don't think you can have any doubt that all around the world people open their mouths with surprise at how this can be possible."
Mourinho hopes Sunday's final is not affected by controversy after struggling with the accumulation of perceived errors against his side.
"It's easy to cope with a mistake," he added.
"It's not easy to cope with lots of mistakes. It's not easy. We try. Hopefully the final is a good final."