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Ferguson urges referees respect

Alex Ferguson
Alex Ferguson has called for officials to receive more respect.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says the lack of respect shown to referees is "ridiculous."

Ferguson also insists he will never allow his players to harangue referees and has called for more respect to be shown to officials.

The Manchester United boss was speaking in light of the Ashley Cole incident on Wednesday when the Chelsea player turned his back on referee Mike Riley.

"The haranguing of referees is ridiculous, we know that," he said.


"We are talking about introducing this into the grass-roots level, respect for the referee. It is absolutely correct."

Cole has been widely condemned for his behaviour towards Riley to whom he refused to acknowledge or even look at as the referee attempted to yellow card him for a late tackle on Tottenham defender Alan Hutton.

Following the tackle Chelsea players Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard all surrounded Riley appearing to bully him out of handing out a straight red for the tackle.

But Ferguson's side are no angels when it comes to treating referees with respect.

In 2000 his side were involved in an infamous incident when they chased and surrounded referee Andy D'Urso after he awarded Middlesbrough a debatable penalty.

The behaviour of his players incensed Ferguson, who insists it is not an incident that will be repeated by his side.

"We had a pivotal moment a few years ago when my players surrounded Andy D'Urso," said Ferguson.

Manchester United players surround referee Andy D'Urso in 2000
Manchester United players surround referee Andy D'Urso in 2000

"I was off my head with them, I thought it was ridiculous. It never happened again," he said.

"We tell them to shake the hand of the referee after the game, when it is finished.

"It is sometimes difficult but you have to do it, in the same way as when you lose a game and you invite the opposing manager in for a drink after the game.

"I saw the other night one of my players changed his jersey with one of the Bolton players who had committed 10 fouls against him.

"I said that was good because the match was over, all forgotten, we move on with life. I think that's what we have to do."

Meanwhile Chelsea manager Avram Grant claims that his side are being victimised by the Football Association.

Grant's side have been charged by the FA several times this season but the Chelsea manager feels it is not justified.

"It is unfair from the Football Association because in the same game against Manchester United, and we saw on the video, their players ran to the referee before us - maybe they are quicker," said Grant.

"The game against Derby where Michael Essien got a red card, you will see that the other team were also quicker than us to surround the referee.

"If the rule was clearer it would be better for everyone. I agree that only the captain should be allowed to go to the referee, I think that would be good."

see also
Tottenham 4-4 Chelsea
20 Mar 08 |  Premier League

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