Home » EPL, Latest » Sir Alex Ferguson charged by FA over ref comments

Sir Alex Ferguson has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association over his criticism of Martin Atkinson, the referee who officiated Manchester United’s defeat by Chelsea on Tuesday.

Ferguson, who has until 4pm next Tuesday to respond to the charge, was fuming at Atkinson over his failure to give Chelsea goalscorer David Luiz a second booking for fouls on Javier Hernández and Wayne Rooney.

To compound the United manager’s frustration, Atkinson then awarded Chelsea what he considered a “soft” penalty after Yuri Zhirkov fell under Chris Smalling’s challenge.

Although Ferguson’s comments to Sky Sports are not thought to have overstepped the mark, those to United’s TV station MUTV have caused concern.

“You want a fair referee, or a strong referee anyway, and we didn’t get that,” said Ferguson after the 2-1 defeat. “I must say, when I saw who the referee was I feared the worst.”

The FA asked MUTV for footage of the interview to check the context in which Ferguson made the comments.

Even though he immediately softened his stance, altering the word “fair” to “strong”, the FA felt there was sufficient malice to charge him in a week when Rooney escaped a ban for elbowing James McCarthy at Wigan. Even Ferguson accepted his striker had been “fortunate”.

The Scot, who has decided not to hold a press conference ahead of Sunday’s Premier League game tie with Liverpool, faces a period away from the dug-out if he cannot persuade the FA of his innocence.

Ferguson already has two matches of a four-game ban hanging over him following his comments about Alan Wiley last season, when he implied the official was was not fit enough for his job.

Those games will be triggered if guilt is established, which would condemn him to the stands for United’s FA Cup sixth-round tie with Arsenal at Old Trafford on March 12, plus the league game with Bolton seven days later. Punishment for his latest indiscretion would be added, too.

Source: Telegraph

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