Ferguson escapes Football Association action
London – Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson will not be punished for his confrontation with the match officials during his club’s 4-3 win over Newcastle United, the Football Association has said.
Ferguson berated referee Mike Dean and two of his assistants at half time of yesterday’s league match. This was after he was angered that Newcastle’s second goal – a Jonny Evans own goal – was given despite Papiss Cisse being in an offside position.
The 70-year-old Scot felt Dean should not have overruled his assistant, Jake Collin, who initially raised his flag for offside, and berated both men, as well as fourth official, Neil Swarbrick, as the teams re-emerged for the second half at Old Trafford.
“The referee changed the linesman’s mind,” Ferguson said afterwards. “He said it was an own goal. But if you see it again, and the referee can’t, the guy (Cisse) is in an offside position, then he pulls Evans’ arm. If that is not interfering, what is? I think it was a bad decision.”
The Premier League also issued a clarification, backing Dean’s decision, and explaining that “as Cisse did not play the ball, he was not interfering with play”.
The Football Association added: “It is also the case that Cisse didn’t interfere with the opponent.”
The association said no action would be taken against the Red Devils manager because Dean made no reference to the confrontation in his report on the match.
Manchester’s victory, secured by a 90th-minute goal from striker Javier Hernandez, left Ferguson’s side seven points clear of second-place Manchester City in the Premiership.