Ferguson 'should get stadium ban'

Alex Ferguson has got it in the neck from Premier League referees after his ill-advised rant at Alan Wiley and Andre Marriner (who officiated Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday), in which he claimed that Marriner wasn’t fit to referee a big game. Ferguson’s main beef seems to be that Jamie Carragher should have been sent off for his foul on Michael Owen, for which he only received a yellow card. However, it turns out that he’s wrong, and refs are fed up with his ill-informed sniping.

‘It's so frustrating when a manager as experienced and respected as Sir Alex Ferguson makes a statement about the laws of the game which is completely inaccurate,’ said former referee Jeff Winter. ‘If I were the FA I would personally impose a Fifa-style stadium ban on Sir Alex. I think it's got to be harsh punishment to teach him and everyone else a lesson. The FA have to take serious action against him. Anything less and the Respect campaign is dead in the water.’

‘Ferguson clearly doesn't understand the law about the denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity,’ agreed another referee who refused to be named. ‘The fouled player has to have full control of the ball and has to be moving towards the goal but Michael Owen did not fulfil either condition.

‘Andre Marriner was absolutely right to award a yellow card and a direct free-kick,’ he added. ‘It would have been totally wrong for him to have sent Jamie Carragher off. And Sir Alex should never have said that Andre Marriner was not an experienced referee when he is on the Fifa list and got all the important decisions right on Sunday.’

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