United Coach Ferguson Is Warned Over Comments About Referee Webb

Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti, coaches of Manchester United and Chelsea, have been warned about their future conduct by English soccer’s ruling body after they made complimentary comments about referee Howard Webb.

The coaches’ comments came before Webb refereed the game between their clubs on May 8, when United’s 2-1 home win virtually ensured the team’s record 19th league title.

Ferguson said World Cup final referee Webb was the “best man for the job.” Ancelotti, saying he didn’t want to put pressure on the referee, said “Howard Webb is a fantastic referee, he has the skills to handle the occasion.”

The coaches’ remarks breached Football Association rules against making comments about match officials appointed for a specific fixture.

“It was considered to be a minor breach, but a breach nevertheless, and it should be taken as a warning to all managers in the future that any such breach, even positive comments, are likely to result in a charge by the F.A.,” the commission chairman was cited as saying in an F.A. statement about Ferguson’s remarks.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter-Joseph Hegarty in London at phegarty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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