Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has accepted a charge of improper conduct following his comments on the fitness of referee Alan Wiley.
Ferguson, who criticised Wiley following his team's 2-2 draw with Sunderland at Old Trafford on October 3, has requested a personal hearing. The date for that has yet to be decided.
The United boss, 67, has faced calls for him to be given a lengthy touchline ban by the referees' union Prospect as a consequence of the comments.
Ferguson said after the draw with Sunderland at Old Trafford that 49-year-old Wiley was struggling to keep up with the match.
"I was disappointed with the referee," Ferguson said. "He didn't add on any time for the goal. He played four minutes and two seconds.
"He was also walking up the pitch for the second goal needing a rest. He was not fit enough for a game of that standard.
"The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. He was not fit. It is an indictment of our game.
"You see referees abroad who are as fit as butcher's dogs. We have some who are fit. He wasn't fit.
"He was taking 30 seconds to book a player. He was needing a rest. It was ridiculous."
Although the Scot apologised for the comments on October 12, he was charged with improper conduct by the FA last week.
Ferguson apologised "for any personal embarrassment that my remarks may have caused - and to the FA for going public with my views".
He added: "I would wish it to be noted that I have always respected Mr Wiley's integrity and that I did not state or imply that Mr Wiley is a bad referee, that he was in any way biased, that decision-making generally during the game was poor, or that he missed any key incident during the game.
"My only intention in speaking publicly was to highlight what I believe to be a serious and important issue in the game, namely that the fitness levels of referees must match the ever increasing demands of the modern game, which I hope will now be properly addressed through the appropriate formal channels."Reuse content