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Sep 26, 2012

Martinez charged by FA

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has been charged by the Football Association over comments made to the media after his side's 4-0 defeat at Manchester United earlier this month.

Martinez made accusations about referee Michael Oliver, claiming both Danny Welbeck and Paul Scholes should both have been sent off and that only the most experienced officials should take charge of games at Old Trafford.

He was incensed that Oliver gave United a penalty when Welbeck went down under a challenge from Latics goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi, and also felt the United forward should have been sent off for a tackle on Franco di Santo.

"It was shocking, as bad a decision as you are ever likely to see in the Premier League," Martinez raged. "Michael Oliver is a very capable referee, who has been outstanding in many big games, but it was clear from the opening minutes that he was not going to measure both teams the same way.

"In that last challenge by Welbeck, he had his foot over the ball as he went in on Franco Di Santo. It was completely reckless and dangerous, and under the current regulations, it should be a red card, whether you play for Wigan, Manchester United or anyone else.

"We had a player sent off here last season, and it was rescinded straightaway. Two seasons ago, we had two players sent off. Now this. I just feel it is a difficult place for referees. They need to be strong, and they need to be very, very experienced. They need to know how to handle the occasion. It's not about handling the game here, it's the occasion.

"Welbeck should have been shown a straight red, and Paul Scholes had two bad challenges that were worthy of yellow cards. We had James McArthur booked for something very similar, yet Scholes got away with both. I cannot understand how those same challenges can be judged in different ways."

Martinez has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.

A statement released by the FA read: "Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez has been charged by The FA for media comments made after his side's Premier League fixture at Manchester United on 15 September 2012.

"The charge is in relation to an alleged breach of FA Rule E3 concerning media comments which implied that the match referee and/or match officials in general are motivated by bias and/or brought the game into disrepute."

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