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Premier League

Ferguson will escape FA punishment

Sir Alex Ferguson will not face any action from the Football Association over his criticism of referee Martin Atkinson following Manchester United's defeat by Chelsea.

Ferguson condemned the decision to award the free-kick that led to the goal as "absolutely ridiculous" and said he is losing his faith in refereeing.

It is understood however the FA are not planning to take any action against the United manager as he did not question the referee's integrity or claim there was any bias.

Atkinson awarded a free-kick for Darren Fletcher's challenge on Ashley Cole and Wes Brown appeared to be impeded as Frank Lampard's delivery was turned into the net by John Terry.

Ferguson said afterwards: "Clearly, Darren Fletcher's won the ball - Ashley Cole's never touched and has jumped up in the air - and then (Didier) Drogba's pulled Brown to the ground for the goal.

"The referee's position to make the decision was absolutely ridiculous - he can't see anything. He's got a Chelsea player (Joe Cole) standing right in front of him - and he doesn't even move.

"It was a bad decision, but there's nothing we can do about it. You lose faith in refereeing sometimes, that's the way the players are talking in there - it was a bad one."