FA asks Alex Ferguson to explain linesman remarks
The Football Association has contacted Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson asking him to explain the comments he made to the media about linesman Simon Beck.
Ferguson branded Beck’s performance “shocking” after he failed to flag for what the Scot thought was a “clear penalty” for the visitors when Wayne Rooney went down in the box after a challenge by Steven Caulker in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham.
Ferguson said his club had “history” with Beck following his failure to rule out an offside Didier Drogba goal in 2010 and also claimed yesterday: “There was no way we were going to get a decision from (Beck).”
Ferguson has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to the FA. Should the FA rule that his comments amount to a questioning of Beck’s integrity, it will charge the United boss with misconduct and he could be hit with a touchline ban and/or fine.
Rooney was convinced he should have been awarded a penalty, and his team-mate Rio Ferdinand agreed. “It was a 100 per cent penalty,” Ferdinand told MUTV after the game, which was decided by Clint Dempsey’s 93rd-minute equaliser. “I cannot believe he didn’t give it. The linesman (Beck) didn’t really help us on the near touchline at all in the second half especially. He maybe wasn’t going to put his flag up but I am disappointed that the referee didn’t give what was a stonewall penalty.”
Ferguson has a long history of disciplinary charges with the FA. In March 2011 he was hit with a five-match touchline ban and a £30,000 fine for questioning the integrity of referee Martin Atkinson after a match at Chelsea. He did escape punishment earlier this season, however, despite confronting Mike Dean, assistant referee Jake Collin and fourth official Neil Swarbrick during United’s game against Newcastle.
Meanwhile, AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani needs Manchester City to lower their asking price for Mario Balotelli before he makes a formal bid for the striker’s services.
The Rossoneri have been preparing an approach for the ex-Inter Milan striker, a self-confessed Milan fan, but City are reported to be demanding 28 million euros (£23.5m) for a player they bought for e22 million (£18.5m) in 2010.
Milan are also eager to tie up a long-term loan deal for Real Madrid forward Kaka having raised e15 million (£12.5m) from Alexandre Pato’s sale to Corinthians last month. Galliani told the Gazzetta dello Sport: “If Balotelli’s price comes down then I’ll get over to Manchester immediately.”
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