Ferguson says sorry in bid to end Wiley row

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson has tried to defuse the growing demand among Premier League referees for strong action to be taken against him by apologising for his attack on Alan Wiley.

Ferguson was fuming with Wiley's handling of the recent 2-2 draw between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford. He made a series of personal statements about Wiley's fitness, including a belief that he took longer than necessary to book players because he "needed a rest". The views have outraged Wiley's colleagues, amid claims that the referee himself felt like quitting the game because he was so upset at Ferguson.

Ferguson has been asked to submit his thoughts to the Football Association by Friday and could be facing a hefty fine, or a touchline ban. "I apologise to Mr Wiley for any personal embarrassment caused," he said. "I intend to contact him personally after this international break."