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Alex Ferguson gets 5-game ban

  • AP, Wednesday, March 16, 2011 1:23 PM

Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson has been suspended five matches by the English FA for criticizing referee Martin Atkinson's performance in United's 2-1 loss to Chelsea on March 1. Ferguson said that his team didn't get a "fair or strong referee."

Ferguson unsuccessfully appealed his suspension. The FA said an independent commission “found the charge of improper conduct relating to media comments proven" and also fined him $48,000.

The outlash at Atkinson earned Ferguson a three-game ban, and two games were added because of a previous suspended sentence hanging over Ferguson.

Ferguson will have to watch four league games -- against West Ham, Fulham, Everton and Arsenal -- and the FA Cup semifinal against Manchester City from the stands.

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