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Ferguson given touchline ban

(CNN)
Alex Ferguson has been found guilty of improper conduct by the FA for questioning the fitness levels of referee Alan Wiley.
Alex Ferguson has been found guilty of improper conduct by the FA for questioning the fitness levels of referee Alan Wiley.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The FA have handed Alex Ferguson a two-match touchline ban for comments he made about referee Alan Wiley
  • Manchester United manager Ferguson had questioned the fitness of Wiley although later apologized to the official
  • Ferguson has also been fined around $33,000 and has been warned about his future conduct
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The Football Association have handed Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson a two-match touchline ban for his comments about referee Alan Wiley's fitness.

Ferguson made disparaging remarks about Wiley after the English Premier League side's 2-2 draw with Sunderland on October 3.

Ferguson, 67, apologized to the official for any embarrassment caused and pleaded guilty to the FA's charge of improper conduct at a personal hearing.

But the FA gave Ferguson a four-game ban, with two of those suspended until the end of the 2010/11 season, and have also fined him around $33,000 as well as warning him about his future conduct.

Peter Griffiths, chairman of the FA's four-man regulatory commission, confirmed the decision on the governing body's official Web site.

The commission considered his admitted remarks were not just improper but were grossly improper and wholly inappropriate. He should never have said what he did say.
--FA regulatory chairman Peter Griffiths

He said: "Each member of the commission recognized Alex Ferguson's achievements and stature within the game.

"Having said that, it was made clear to Alex that with such stature comes increased responsibilities.

"The commission considered his admitted remarks, in the context in which they were made, were not just improper but were grossly improper and wholly inappropriate. He should never have said what he did say."

Ferguson has come to blows with the match officials in recent weeks. As well as his attack on Wiley, he questioned whether Andre Marriner had the experience to referee his side's 2-0 defeat at Liverpool.

The Scot also questioned Martin Atkinson after United's 1-0 defeat by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and admitted he was "losing faith" in referees following the official's decision to award Chelsea a controversial free kick from which they scored the decisive goal.