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FA charges Ferguson over referee Howard Webb comments

FA charges Ferguson over referee Howard Webb comments

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association for comments about referee Howard Webb.

The comments in question were made in the build-up to the 2-1 Premier League win over Chelsea on 8 May.

Even though Ferguson spoke positively about Webb, he broke FA rules which state that no manager should speak about a referee prior to a match.

The Old Trafford club's manager has until 1600 BST on 16 May to respond.

Ferguson's side beat Chelsea 2-1 last Sunday to move within a point of securing a record 19th title with two games to spare.

But two days before the game - which would have seen Chelsea top the table had they won - Ferguson spoke about Webb at a news conference.

"We are getting the best referee, there is no doubt about that," he said at the time.

"But [getting a bad decision] is definitely our big fear.

"We have the players to do it all right. We just hope it's our turn for a little bit of luck."

Ferguson only recently returned to the dug-out after a five-game ban and £30,000 fine for his criticism of referee Martin Atkinson following a 2-1 defeat at Chelsea in March.

He is unlikely to be banned again but the FA's action is further proof they are determined to implement their Respect Campaign.

The FA charge comes a day before United's trip to relegation-battling Blackburn as Ferguson's side aim to wrap up the Premier League title before they play in the Champions League final on 28 May.

Ferguson's news conference ahead of the trip to Ewood Park had already taken place before the FA announced its charge against him.

And the United manager said: "It is most important we approach this game in the right way.

"This is always a difficult game. Blackburn probably need another point to stay in the Premier League and we will not be underestimating them."

Posted on Friday 13th May 2011

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