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Warnock charged by FA following criticism of officials

Cardiff manager punished following Chelsea defeat.

Neil Warnock is facing a Football Association charge after criticising match officials (Nick Potts/PA)
Neil Warnock is facing a Football Association charge after criticising match officials (Nick Potts/PA)

Cardiff boss Neil Warnock has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association following his controversial comments about Premier League officials.

Warnock has been charged with three breaches of the rules after comments he made following the Premier League clash against Chelsea two weeks ago, the FA announced.

The charges relate to post-match interviews with the BBC and Sky Sports, during which he labelled Premier League officials the worst in the world, and a radio interview the following day.

The officials failed to spot that Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta was offside when he headed in a late equaliser before Ruben Loftus-Cheek netted a stoppage-time winner for a 2-1 victory over relegation-threatened Cardiff.

The FA statement read: “It is alleged that comments he made in a post-match interview with the BBC, and a post-match interview with Sky Sports, following the Premier League game against Chelsea on 31 March 2019, were improper in that they questioned the integrity of the Match Official and/or implied bias.

“It is further alleged that comments he made in a TalkSport Radio interview on 1 April 2019 constitute improper conduct and/or bring the game into disrepute.”

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Neil Warnock was frustrated by events during the Chelsea match (Martin Rickett/PA)

In the talkSPORT interview, Warnock said his wife, Sharon, had told him she would not have stopped him “if you had wanted to thump the referee and linesman”.

He continued: “We’re having too many honest mistakes and it’s always the top teams who get the decisions.

“You almost begin to think, is it me? Is it payback time for all the years I’ve shouted at referees? Have they all got together now and said, ‘let’s get him out of this place’?”

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Chelsea’s 2-1 win left Warnock dejected (Nick Potts/PA)

The 70-year-old has until 6pm on April 16 to respond to the charges.

Warnock, meanwhile, has underlined a sense of loyalty to the Cardiff fans that fuels an ambition to stay at the club next season.

Cardiff are currently five points behind 17th-placed Southampton with six games left, and they face crucial away encounters against Burnley on Saturday, then Brighton three days later.

Warnock secured promotion from the Championship with Cardiff last year, and he said: “I just feel as long as Vincent (Cardiff owner Vincent Tan) wants me to stay, no matter what division we are in, I think I owe it to the fans to stay.

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Neil Warnock’s future with Cardiff is dependent on Vincent Tan (Richard Sellers/PA)

“I changed my mind in the last couple of months with the Emiliano (Sala) tragedy. It brought a lot home. In the cold light of day, I don’t see anyone better to take over at this moment in time.

“Whereas if I can steady the ship next season, I will be in my final year at Christmas time, then I can help the club pick another manager.

“That’s what I would like to do, because the fans have been so good to me. I wouldn’t like to leave them in the lurch.

“I have never seen Sharon enjoy a club like this. I’ve never heard fans chanting the name of a manager’s wife before.

“She does love the fans, and they have taken to her, so I will keep ticking on.”

I have never seen Sharon enjoy a club like this. I've never heard fans chanting the name of a manager's wife before. Neil Warnock

Warnock said he had not had any talks at board level about his future, adding: “I don’t think we can do anything until we know exactly what the situation is, and then I am sure Mehmet (Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman) will be talking to me.

“I speak to them on a regular basis, but we haven’t really gone into details about next season.

“They (fans) know the lads are giving everything, they know I’m giving everything, so they get behind us. That’s why I would find it very difficult, unless I was asked to, to leave.”

Warnock is under no illusions about the size of Cardiff’s challenge, with their remaining fixtures also including games against Liverpool and Manchester United.

“We are running out of time and points,” he said. “We need 10 points, really, to have any chance whatsoever.”

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