Belfast Telegraph

Five-game ban for Fergie

Sir Alex Ferguson has been given a five-match touchline ban and a £30,000 fine for his verbal attack on referee Martin Atkinson at Chelsea last month, the Football Association said.

The Manchester United boss questioned why the Yorkshire-based official had been given the game and criticised Atkinson's failure to send Blues defender David Luiz off for fouls on Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney after the Brazilian had already been booked, then expressed comments the FA disciplinary panel felt had questioned the official's integrity.

"At an independent regulatory commission today (Wednesday) Sir Alex Ferguson was handed a touchline suspension for three matches and fined a total of £30,000," said an FA statement.

"The commission found the charge of improper conduct relating to media comments proven, following remarks made in relation to match official Martin Atkinson in post-match interviews after Manchester United's fixture with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday March 1, 2011.

"Furthermore the commission invoked a two-match suspended touchline ban, relating to a previous charge of improper conduct in relation to media comments made in October 2009.

"Therefore Sir Alex Ferguson was ordered to a serve a five-match touchline ban commencing on Tuesday March 22, 2011."

The official conclusions will arrive at Old Trafford on Thursday and Ferguson will then have 48 hours to appeal, meaning any sanction will not start until after Saturday's Premier League encounter with Bolton.

However, unless Ferguson is successful with an appeal he will miss all April's scheduled domestic games, including the FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City at Wembley, and also the Premier League trip to Arsenal on May 1, unless a visit to Newcastle, postponed due to that City clash, is re-arranged for the midweek immediately after the semi.


From Belfast Telegraph