FA call on Fergie to clarify comments

The Football Association has contacted Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson asking him to explain the comments he made to the media about linesman Simon Beck.

Ferguson branded Beck’s performance “shocking” after he failed to flag for what the Scot thought was a “clear penalty” for the visitors when Wayne Rooney went down in the box after a challenge by Steven Caulker in Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Tottenham.

The United boss said his club had “history” with Beck following his failure to rule out an offside Didier Drogba goal in 2010 and also claimed: “There was no way we were going to get a decision from (Beck).”

The FA confirmed last night that they have contacted Ferguson asking him to clarify his comments. He has until 6pm on Thursday to respond.

Should the FA rule that Ferguson’s comments amount to a questioning of Beck’s integrity, they will charge the United boss with misconduct and he could be hit with a touchline ban and or fine.

Rooney was convinced he should have been awarded a penalty, and his team-mate Rio Ferdinand agreed.

“It was a 100% penalty,” Ferdinand said after the game, which saw Clint Dempsey snatch a 93rd-minute equaliser to Robin van Persie’s opener.

“I cannot believe he didn’t give it. The linesman (Beck) didn’t really help us on the near touchline at all in the second half especially. He maybe wasn’t going to put his flag up but I am disappointed that the referee didn’t give what was a stonewall penalty.”

Meanwhile Ferdinand admits United got a taste of their own medicine at Tottenham yesterday, but the defender insists the team should not be disheartened at coming away from White Hart Lane with a point.

United are the ones who usually revel in pulling off a result with a late goal — they have snatched last-gasp winners in no fewer than four matches this season.

“It is disappointing,” Ferdinand said. “But as soon as you get off the pitch and into the changing room, you think back to how many times we have done that teams over the years and you have to accept it and take it on the chin.”

Despite the draw, the fixture list makes for positive reading for any United fan. Other than a potentially tricky home game against Everton, the club have a run of winnable fixtures against the likes of Southampton, Fulham, West Ham and Reading. City, on the other hand, face games against Chelsea and Liverpool next month, but Ferdinand won’t get carried away.

“It is a good position to be in but there are no medals given out yet so you have to keep chalking off the games and get as many three points in the bag as you can,” he said.

“I don’t think we can be too down coming away from White Hart Lane with a point. Under the new management they are doing well.”

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