English Premiership

Benitez lets fly at Fergie

2009-01-09 17:09
Alex Ferguson (Gallo Images)

Liverpool - Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez claimed on Friday that Manchester United counterpart Alex Ferguson is "killing" referees due to his lack of respect.

Benitez said that Ferguson is "the only manager who will not be punished" by the Football Association for his outspoken attacks on referees.

In May, the 67-year-old Scot was cleared of improper conduct charges in May over comments made about referee Martin Atkinson and Keith Hackett, the Professional Game Match Officials general manager.

Although Ferguson received a two-game touchline ban in November after a confrontation with referee Mike Dean - the kind of incident that has prompted the League Managers Association to call for a review of the Premier League's so-called Respect initiative.

"We had a meeting in Manchester with managers and the Football Association about the Respect campaign," Benitez said. "And I was very clear, forget the campaign because Mr. Ferguson was killing the referees, killing Mr. (Martin) Atkinson, killing Mr. (Keith) Hackett. He was not punished. He is the only manager in the league that cannot be punished for these things."


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