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Sir Alex Ferguson has been handed a five-match touchline ban and £30,000 fine by the FA for criticising referee Martin Atkinson after United 2-1 defeat at Chelsea. Ferguson was unhappy that Atkinson didn’t send off David Luiz for a second yellow card for a trip on Wayne Rooney. Sir Alex Ferguson said “You want a fair referee, or a strong referee anyway – and we didn’t get that,” on MUTV. “I must say, when I saw who the referee was I feared it. I feared the worst.” Before the FA Cup game with Arsenal at the weekend he said “I felt aggrieved and I now face an FA charge for what, to my mind, was simply telling the truth.”. In the programme notes he wrote. “I will be defending myself strongly when my FA appeal hearing comes up. “In fact, I am looking forward to the challenge because, to my mind, I have not said anything out of place, however much the media urge the FA to take action.” the FA found Ferguson guilty of the charge and the length of the ban is partly due to the two-game suspended tariff he had over questioning the fitness of referee Alan Wiley last season. The ban begins on the 22nd of March and the five matches he will miss will be against West Ham, Fulham and Everton, the FA Cup tie against Manchester City and Arsenal. These games could change.

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