The Football Association on Tuesday charged Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson after he criticised the performance of an assistant referee in a game at Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month.
“The FA has today (Tuesday 29 January) charged Sir Alex Ferguson in relation to post-match media comments made following Manchester United’s game at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday 20 January 2013,” said an FA statement.
“It is alleged the Manchester United manager breached FA Rule E3 in that he implied that the match official was motivated by bias.
“Ferguson has until 4pm (1600GMT) on Friday 1 February 2013 to respond to the charge.”
Ferguson hit out at assistant referee Simon Beck for failing to award United a penalty after an apparent foul on Wayne Rooney by Spurs defender Steven Caulker during the 1-1 draw between the sides.
The United manager recalled that Beck had previously failed to spot that Didier Drogba was in an offside position when he scored a crucial winning goal for Chelsea in a game at Old Trafford in April 2010.
Speaking last Friday, Ferguson had defended his right to criticise match officials and suggested that English football’s governing body had singled him out for punishment.
“We are high-profile and the profile of me is such that the FA naturally panic as soon as the press criticise them,” he said.
“I think that is what you will find. That is why they have sent me a letter.
“Whether I think it is unfair or not doesn’t matter to them really at this point. I just think it is more about me than what I have said.”