Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

FA contact duo over comments

Roberto Mancini thought there was a foul in the build-up to Sunderland's winner

The Football Association have confirmed they have written to Roberto Mancini and Harry Redknapp over their criticism of referees following Manchester City and QPR's Boxing Day defeats.

The FA sent letters to City boss Mancini and Rangers counterpart Redknapp requesting their observations on their post-match comments in the wake of their sides' respective matches against Sunderland and West Brom.

Mancini and Redknapp could both find themselves charged by the FA if their words are found to have amounted to improper conduct.

Mancini hit out at referee Kevin Friend following City's 1-0 defeat at the Stadium of Light, saying: "Maybe the referee ate too much for Christmas."

The Italian was particularly angry with what he felt was a foul on Pablo Zabaleta in the build-up to Adam Johnson's winner, saying it was "impossible two men couldn't see it" in reference to Friend and his assistant.

Redknapp, meanwhile, was furious with what he claimed were two "scandalous" decisions in QPR's 2-1 home defeat to West Brom.

The Rangers boss felt the Baggies' second goal should have been disallowed for a push on goalkeeper Robert Green and bemoaned the decision not to award his side a penalty when Liam Ridgewell appeared to handle the ball late on.

Redknapp said: "I asked the linesman how he didn't see that penalty - it was the most blatant handball you could wish to see but he said it was murky down there in that corner and he couldn't make it out. Maybe he should go to Specsavers. I thought they were both awful decisions. Scandalous decisions."

Mancini and Redknapp would usually be given three working days to respond upon receipt of an FA letter, but they could be granted a small extension due to the Christmas and new year period. The FA have taken tough action in the past when managers have called the capability of officials into question.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was handed a four-match touchline ban, two matches of which were suspended, and a £20,000 fine for criticising Alan Wiley's fitness three years ago, despite later apologising.

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