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Alex Ferguson's ref praise draws warning

  • Reuters, Wednesday, May 18, 2011 3:27 PM

Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson has gotten in trouble several times for criticizing refs. Now he's received a warning from the English FA for praising an official.

Ferguson had called Howard Webb “the best referee in the country” before the official took charge of United’s 2-1 EPL win over Chelsea on May 8.

FA regulations make it clear coaches are not allowed to comment on referees before a game, regardless of whether the statements are positive or negative. Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti was also called out by the FA for describing Webb him as a “fantastic referee” prior to the game.

Regarding Ferguson’s case, the chairman of the FA’s regulatory commission said in a statement: “This is a clear breach of the rule and it is the first time such a matter has been placed in front of a commission. ... In this case, it was considered to be a minor breach, but a breach nevertheless, and it should be taken as a warning to all managers in the future that any such breach, even positive comments, are likely to result in a charge by the FA."

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