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FA fines Alex Ferguson for comments

LONDON -- The English Football Association has fined Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson 12,000 pounds ($18,900) and found him guilty of misconduct for implying a referee's assistant was motivated by bias.

After a 1-1 draw at Tottenham last month, Ferguson was angry that linesman Simon Beck didn't award a penalty when United was leading 1-0.

Ferguson claimed in a television interview that "there was no way we were going to get a decision from" Beck, citing Beck's 2010 decision to allow a goal by Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, whom the manager claimed was offside. That goal that proved pivotal in that season's title race.

An FA independent regulatory commission ruled Friday that Ferguson was guilty of misconduct because he "implied that the match official was motivated by bias."

"It was a clear decision. And he was 10, maybe 12 yards away from the incident and he doesn't give it. And yet he gave everything else," Ferguson said. "There was no way we were going to get a decision from (Beck)," Ferguson said. "We have got history with him. He never gave offside with (Didier) Drogba at Old Trafford when he was three yards offside. Everyone remembers that. I certainly do."

Ferguson subsequently claimed his criticism of Beck had been fair, and hinted the FA was pursuing a personal agenda against him.

"You never know the FA," he said. "We are high profile and the profile of me is such that the FA naturally panic as soon as the press criticize them.

"I think that is what you will find. That is why they have sent me a letter. Whether I think it is unfair or not doesn't matter to them really at this point. I just think it is more about me than what I have said."

Information from The Associated Press and Press Association was used in this report.

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