Soccer

Saturday 26 July 2014

Ferguson set to face wrath of FA over linesman 'bias' criticism

Ian Herbert

Published 30/01/2013|05:00

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Alex Ferguson was pitched back into a state of open conflict with the English Football Association, after he was charged for comments made about an assistant referee at Tottenham Hotspur on January 20.

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The Manchester United manager will be furious that he has been charged over his discussion of Simon Beck after the 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane, in which Spurs scored their equaliser in stoppage time.

Ferguson (pictured) later claimed his club had "history" with Beck, following the official's failure to rule out a Didier Drogba goal for Chelsea on the grounds of offside in 2010. The Scot has already stated that the governing body has been "panicked" into looking at his comments and that he is being victimised because United are a "high-profile club."

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Ferguson is unlikely to let his charge – under Rule E3, for implying a match official is biased – pass without further comment. He will be further irritated that he is being summoned when Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has escaped a fine or ban for suggesting the official Kevin Friend ate too much at Christmas and that QPR's Harry Redknapp was not censured for saying that Chris Foy "should have gone to Specsavers or somewhere" following QPR's St Stephen's Day defeat at West Bromwich Albion.

But the FA believes that by bringing up a previous incident, Ferguson has questioned Beck's integrity.

Speaking after the Tottenham game, Ferguson expressed his anger that what he regarded as a "clear" penalty to United had not been given. His subsequent reference to United's "history" with Beck prompted him to claim: "There was no way we were going to get a decision from (Beck)."

Ferguson is likely to escape with a fine rather a ban, as this is his first official brush with the FA this season.

He has until 4.0 on Friday to respond to the charge.

Irish Independent

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