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Page last updated at 17:31 GMT, Thursday, 17 March 2011

Ferguson decides not to appeal against five-game ban

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson will be banned for United's FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has decided not to appeal against a five-match touchline ban for comments about referee Martin Atkinson.

The Football Association found Ferguson guilty of improper conduct for remarks after United's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea.

The ban was due to start on 22 March but will now begin immediately, as the Scot requested.

That means Ferguson will be back in the dugout for the Premier League game with title rivals Arsenal in May.

The ban will, however, include United's FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City at Wembley on 16 April, as well as the Premier League games against Bolton, West Ham, Fulham and Everton.

A three-man disciplinary panel banned Ferguson on Wednesday for three matches for his post-match comments about Atkinson, which included him saying he "feared the worst" when he found out who was refereeing the league game at Stamford Bridge.

An additional two-game ban came into force following a suspended ban last season, and the 69-year-old was also fined £30,000.

Speaking about the ban on Friday, Ferguson said: "It is disappointing. It is the only industry you can't tell the truth in."

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see also
Ferguson hit with five-match ban
17 Mar 11 |  Man Utd
Ferguson set to contest FA charge
04 Mar 11 |  Man Utd
Ferguson ref rant 'unacceptable'
03 Mar 11 |  Man Utd
Ref boss demands Ferguson apology
03 Mar 11 |  Football
Chelsea 2-1 Man Utd
01 Mar 11 |  Premier League
Ferguson angry at ref after loss
01 Mar 11 |  Premier League

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