Alex Ferguson hit with improper conduct charge
Thursday 03 March 2011
Sir Alex Ferguson has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association.
Ferguson has until 4pm on Tuesday, March 8 to respond to the charge, which relates to comments made about referee Martin Atkinson immediately after Manchester United's Premier League defeat at Chelsea.
The United boss was fuming at Atkinson over his failure to dismiss Chelsea goalscorer David Luiz for clear fouls on Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney after the Brazilian had already been booked.
To compound that frustration Atkinson then awarded Chelsea what he considered a "soft" penalty when Yuri Zhirkov fell under Chris Smalling's challenge.
Although Ferguson's comments to host broadcaster Sky Sports are not thought to have overstepped the mark, those to United's in-house TV station MUTV have caused concern.
"You want a fair referee, or a strong referee anyway - and we didn't get that," said Ferguson in the aftermath of the 2-1 defeat.
"I must say, when I saw who the referee was I feared it. I feared the worst."
The Football Association asked MUTV for footage of the interview to check the context in which Ferguson delivered the words.
And, even though he immediately soften his stance, altering the word 'fair' to 'strong', disciplinary chiefs feel there is sufficient malice to warrant charging him in a week when Wayne Rooney escaped further punishment for elbowing James McCarthy at Wigan last week.
Even Ferguson accepted his star striker had been "fortunate".
The Scot, who has decided not to hold a press conference ahead of Sunday's FA Cup tie with Liverpool, has not been so lucky and unless he can persuade the FA of his innocence, is facing a lengthy period away from the dug-out.
Ferguson already has two matches of a four-game ban still hanging over him following his ill-advised comments about Alan Wiley last season, when he implied the official 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 Premier League encounter with Bolton seven days' later.
Punishment for his latest indiscretion would be added.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
Latest in Sport
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
West Brom vs Manchester United: Latest score and Twitter updates, with Stephane Sessegnon, Marouane Fellaini, Saido Berahino and Daley Blind on target
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Adel Taraabt criticism from QPR boss Harry Redknapp sparked by player walking out of team meeting prior to Liverpool game
- 1 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 2 Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming street artist's identity has been revealed
- 3 Are you ready for Crazy Doritos, the red-hot snack food craze sweeping Mexico’s streets?
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Former East 17 frontman Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage