17 Mar 2011

Sir Alex banned for five games and fined

12:20 pm on 17 March 2011

The Manchester United football manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been give a five match touchline ban for criticising referee Martin Atkinson.

Sir Alex has been found guilty of improper conduct for criticising Atkinson's performance in United's loss to Chelsea earlier this month.

The penalty is made up of a three-game ban for the Atkinson remarks and the activation of a two-game suspended ban he was given last season for suggesting another referee wasn't fit enough to keep up with play.

He's also been fined $65 thousand.

The ban, which means he'll have to sit in the stands, starts on Tuesday and includes the FA Cup tie against Manchester City.

He has two days to appeal the decision which is why the ban doesn't start till after Saturday's home premier league game against Bolton Wanderers.

Meanwhile the West Ham manager Avram Grant has been charged with improper conduct following his criticism of referee Mike Jones in the Hammers' FA Cup defeat by Stoke.