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Alex Ferguson Charged Over Referee Comments

The Football Association have decided to charge Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson for the comments he made about referee Martin Atkinson following his side’s 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge.

Ferguson had claimed that he “feared the worst” when Atkinson was appointed for the game, while also suggesting that the referee was neither fair nor strong in a rant that also criticised a number of his decisions. Ferguson will now have until 16.00 GMT next Tuesday to respond to the charges and it is understood that Manchester United will contest the FA’s decision, despite their manager having history in this field.

Last season Ferguson was issued a four-game ban – two games of which have still not been served – for making similar comments about Alan Wiley, and if the suspended ban is triggered he will miss United’s sixth round FA Cup clash with Arsenal.

Additionally, Ferguson would also be absent for his side’s Premier League engagement with Bolton plus any additional matches that the FA decide to add if United’s appeal of the charge proves to be unsuccessful.

United’s defeat to Chelsea left them four points clear of second-placed Arsenal, but the Gunners will have the chance to cut that lead to just a point when they play Sunderland at home on Saturday and will also have a game in hand on their rivals.
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