Grant claims that referees favour Manchester United

Let the mind games begin. The gloves are off ahead of next week's Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester United with Blues boss Avram Grant accusing referees of favouring Alex Ferguson's side.

The Israeli is set to face an FA disrepute charge after claiming that referees Steve Bennett and Mike Dean helped Manchester United retain the Premier League title. Grant told reporters that, "I think in England there are some very good referees. But there are some, a few of them, you can influence, like you saw. I will not say more than this."

Dean is accused of unfairly sending of John Obi Mikel against United in September, while Bennett refused to award Wigan a penalty after Rio Ferdinand had handled in the box and chose not to send off the already booked Paul Scholes after he had hacked down Wigan's Wilson Palacios.

After watching Manchester United's win on Sunday Grant stated that, "The red card for Scholes on Sunday should have been. Then there was the penalty. But it's finished. I congratulate United. I do not think the world is against Chelsea, or English football. But in this case there were some coincidences for Manchester United."

Grant's comments are unlikely to go unpunished by the FA. The implication that Bennett consciously favoured United is a serious charge. It's clear that Rio handled the ball in the box and that Scoles second bookable offence went unpunished, but did Bennett knowingly overlook them to let United win or were they just honest mistakes?

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