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Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009

Ferguson handed Everton reprieve

Alex Ferguson
Ferguson launched a stinging attack on Wiley's fitness on 3 October

Sir Alex Ferguson will be in the dugout for Manchester United's Premier League clash with Everton on Saturday despite being hit with a two-match suspension.

United's boss was punished for comments on referee Alan Wiley's fitness after a 2-2 draw with Sunderland in October.

But the Football Association said that the ban does not start until 14 days after last week's disciplinary hearing.

Ferguson will sit in the stands at Portsmouth on 28 November and again for the Carling Cup tie with Tottenham.

The FA handed the 67-year-old a four-game ban, with two of those suspended until the end of the 2010/11 season, a £20,000 fine and warned him about his future conduct.

Ferguson made disparaging remarks about Wiley's fitness after his side were held to a draw at home by the Black Cats on 3 October.

Ferguson said at the time: "The pace of the game demanded a referee who was fit. He was not fit."

He later said he was sorry for any personal embarrassment caused to Wiley, claiming the comments were to highlight "what I believe to be a serious and important issue in the game".

The suspended sanction will be automatically activated should he be found guilty of a similar charge before the end of the 2010/11 season on top of any penalty imposed for that offence.

Ferguson has a history of improper conduct charges for incidents involving referees.

In the 2007/08 season he was given a two-match touchline ban and fined £5,000 for a rant at referee Mark Clattenburg during a match at Bolton.

And during the last campaign he was banned for two games and fined £10,000 after remonstrating with referee Mike Dean after a match against Hull.

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see also
Ferguson hit with FA fine and ban
12 Nov 09 |  Man Utd
Referees' boss wants Ferguson ban
12 Oct 09 |  Man Utd
Ferguson apologises to ref Wiley
10 Oct 09 |  Man Utd
Wiley 'fit enough for top flight'
05 Oct 09 |  Man Utd
Ferguson queries referee fitness
03 Oct 09 |  Man Utd
Man Utd 2-2 Sunderland
03 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Allardyce hits out at ref Walton
05 Oct 09 |  Premier League
Arsenal 6-2 Blackburn
04 Oct 09 |  Premier League

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