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

SA stars shine in Europe

2014-09-16 15:15

 

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
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

New GIF keyboard on iOS for added fun!

Soon sending an LOL! or facepalm will be so much more fun!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Puppy goes crazy over iPad game
Printable solar panels will bring exciting new opportunities!
Now there’s a special lane for texting while walking
LOL! 7 brutally honest texts from parents
Fixtures
20 September 2014
Queens Park Rangers v Stoke City, Loftus Road Stadium 13:45
Swansea City v Southampton, Liberty Stadium 16:00
Newcastle United v Hull City, St. James' Park 16:00
Burnley v Sunderland, Turf Moor 16:00
Aston Villa v Arsenal, Villa Park 16:00
West Ham United v Liverpool, Boleyn Ground 18:30
21 September 2014
Leicester City v Manchester United, King Power Stadium 14:30
Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion, White Hart Lane 14:30
Manchester City v Chelsea, Etihad Stadium 17:00
Everton v Crystal Palace, Goodison Park 17:00
27 September 2014
Liverpool v Everton, Anfield 13:45
Manchester United v West Ham United, Old Trafford 16:00
Crystal Palace v Leicester City, Selhurst Park 16:00
Southampton v Queens Park Rangers, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Sunderland v Swansea City, Stadium of Light 16:00
Chelsea v Aston Villa, Stamford Bridge 16:00
Hull City v Manchester City, The KC Stadium 16:00
Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur, Emirates Stadium 18:30
Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

Is Louis van Gaal the right man to restore the glory days at United?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

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