English Premiership

Fergie defends under fire ref

2012-11-02 14:00
Alex Ferguson (AP)

Manchester - Alex Ferguson said on Friday that it was "unthinkable" that referee Mark Clattenburg had racially abused a Chelsea player during Manchester United's controversial victory last weekend.

United's 3-2 Premier League win was overshadowed by allegations from the losers that Clattenburg, who sent off two Chelsea men, used "inappropriate language" against two of their players during the match.

It is a matter that is being investigated by both London's Metropolitan Police force and the Football Association, with the focus now on claims that Clattenburg used a racist slur against Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel.

A second accusation, relating to Spaniard Juan Mata, has been dropped by Chelsea while Clattenburg maintains his innocence on all matters.

Now, after words of support from Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, Clattenburg has received the significant backing of Ferguson, the manager in the visitors' dug-out during the contentious afternoon at Stamford Bridge.

"I don't believe Mark Clattenburg would make any comments like that," Ferguson said on Friday. "I refuse to believe it. I think it's unthinkable.

"In the modern climate, I just don't believe it. Simple as that. There is no way a referee would stoop to that, I'm convinced about that."

Ferguson, United boss for more than a quarter of a century, added: "I think the way we see the game today as compared to the way it was 25 years ago, it has completely changed.

"I played myself and I know the banter that goes on between referees and players 25 years ago is different from today," insisted Ferguson, who made his name in football as a striker with now fallen Scottish giants Rangers.

"I've never heard of a player come to me in the last 15 years and say, the referee swore in the game. Ever. So that's where I stand, I don't believe it.

"It's a wider (society) issue but I'm not concerned about that. You asked me a question about last Sunday and that's what I think."

United, a point behind league leaders Chelsea, returned to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, losing an incredible League Cup tie to the London club 5-4 in extra-time and Ferguson paid tribute Friday to the role of veteran Ryan Giggs in that match.

iggs may be coming towards the end of a magnificent career with United but Ferguson still sees him as an inspirational figure.

"I thought Ryan Giggs was an example to both sets of players on the pitch," he said. "He's approaching 39 this month -- the 29th of November -- it's absolutely phenomenal a player can produce that for 120 minutes.

"It encourages you, makes your job worthwhile, when you can see someone demonstrate that commitment to playing the game of football. So I was really pleased with that, thought that was fantastic."

After two high-scoring games against Chelsea, Ferguson said he'd been handed a headache by the form of young Mexican forward Javier Hernandez, scorer of a controversial winner at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, ahead of this weekend's clash with Arsenal.

Hernandez joins Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney and prolific summer signing Robin van Persie, who arrived from Arsenal, in an attacking force that has left Ferguson pondering his ideal line-up.

"We've got options," said Ferguson. "Chicharito (Hernandez) obviously is in fantastic form and obviously has given me the biggest headache I possibly could have but it's a great headache.

"The boy is improving all the time and the key to Chicharito's form this season is he has had a decent rest in the summer.

"The last three years he has played right through the summer with Mexico and it's now the first time he has had a decent rest in the summer and that has shown itself in his form this year."

Read more on:    epl  |  alex ferguson  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!

 
 

Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
Fixtures
27 August 2016
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool, White Hart Lane 13:30
Everton v Stoke City, Goodison Park 16:00
Leicester City v Swansea City, King Power Stadium 16:00
Crystal Palace v Bournemouth, Selhurst Park 16:00
Southampton v Sunderland, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Chelsea v Burnley, Stamford Bridge 16:00
Watford v Arsenal, Vicarage Road 16:00
Hull City v Manchester United, The KC Stadium 18:30
28 August 2016
West Bromwich Albion v Middlesbrough, The Hawthorns 14:30
Manchester City v West Ham United, Etihad Stadium 17:00
10 September 2016
Manchester United v Manchester City, Old Trafford 13:30
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Arsenal v Southampton, Emirates Stadium 16:00
West Ham United v Watford, Olympic Stadium 16:00
Middlesbrough v Crystal Palace, Riverside Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Hull City, Turf Moor 16:00
Bournemouth v West Bromwich Albion, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Liverpool v Leicester City, Anfield 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Will Jose Mourinho lead Manchester United to the English Premiership title in 2016/17?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.