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English Premiership

Fergie asked to explain Wiley rant

LONDON, October 6 – Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been asked by the English FA to explain his controversial comments about referee Alan Wiley.FERGIE_Ferguson questioned Wiley’s fitness after Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland on Saturday and claimed the 49-year-old was struggling to keep up with the pace of the match at Old Trafford.

Having looked at the remarks, the FA have now requested that Ferguson explain the reasons behind his outburst.

"I was disappointed with the referee," Ferguson said at the weekend. "He was not fit enough for a game of that standard.

"The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. He was not fit. It is an indictment of our game.

"You see referees abroad who are as fit as butcher’s dogs. We have some who are fit. He wasn’t fit.

"He was taking 30 seconds to book a player. He was needing a rest. It was ridiculous."

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher felt Ferguson’s comments were unfair to all referees.

"In the 17 years the Premier League has been going this is the first time I have ever heard a manager use that criticism of a referee," Gallagher told Sky Sports News.

"I hear all kinds of things and I have never known a manager to say a referee wasn’t fit enough.

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"In the year 2009 with the training they have got now, it’s the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard.

"The referees are fit for purpose. They are training four, five, six times a week.

"They are training to an intensity which 10 years ago I would never have believed."

Meanwhile, Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce will face no further action after the FA looked into his criticism of referee Peter Walton for not giving a penalty for Thomas Vermaelen’s apparent trip on David Dunn in Rovers’ 6-2 defeat at Arsenal.

"I don’t want to detract from Arsenal but it was a blatant penalty," Allardyce had said.

"It is human beings in a very big pressure position. In the big pressure pot that is this league, you have got to get the major decisions right otherwise you don’t stay in this league too long, not as a manager or a player, so as a referee you have got to be judged the same.

"They are fully professional now so if they are not good enough, we should find someone who is."

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