Ferguson Charged By Football Association For Calling Ref 'Unfit'
Sir Alex Furgeson, the head coach of FC Manchester United, has been charged by the Football Association with improper conduct. The Football Association charged Ferguson for questioning the fitness level of one of the referees officiating Manchester United's match with Sunderland on October 4. Not happy with his club's performance, Ferguson lashed out at referee Alan Wiley. Ferguson said Wiley was booking players "just to catch his breath" and had to walk to take breaks.
"The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit and I do not think he was fit.
Interestingly, it was later determined that Wiley ran farther than all but four Machestor United players during the match.
A week later, Ferguson apologized to Wiley for his remarks. He still maintained that the fitness level of soccer refs is an important problem facing the sport.
“I apologise to Mr Wiley for any personal embarrassment that my remarks may have caused and to The FA for going public with my views.
“My only intention in speaking publicly, was to highlight what I believe to be a serious and important issue in the game, namely that the fitness levels of referees must match the ever increasing demands of the modern game, which I hope will now be properly addressed through the appropriate formal channels.”
Despite the apology, the Football Association still decided to proceed with Ferguson's punishment. The coach has officially been charged with improper conduct.
The Football Association has posted the following statement on their website:
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been charged with improper conduct.
The charge relates to media comments made by Ferguson about referee Alan Wiley following United's match against Sunderland at Old Trafford on 3 October.
Ferguson has until 3 November to respond to the charge.
Ferguson can now face a fine or a touchline ban, which implies being suspended for one to five games for 'touchline misconduct' of interfering with a referee.