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By ESPN Staff

FA charge Sunderland boss Keane over ref conduct

Sunderland boss Roy Keane has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association after being sent to the stands during Saturday's 5-0 defeat at Chelsea.

The Irishman was asked to leave the dugout by match referee Martin Atkinson after he had questioned series of decisions in the tunnel at half-time as his side was put to the sword at Stamford Bridge.

An FA statement said: "Sunderland manager Roy Keane has been charged with improper conduct.

"The charge relates to his conduct towards referee Martin Atkinson in the tunnel at half-time of Sunderland's match against Chelsea on Saturday, 1 November.

"Keane has until 19 November to respond to the charge."

If found guilty, Keane, who has demonstrated a remarkable calm throughout his managerial career to date, could face a touchline ban.

His side's defeat at Chelsea was their second in four days after a 1-0 reverse at Stoke.

The former Manchester United midfielder insisted after the game that he had not been sent off, but rather asked to watch the second half from the stand.

"I didn't swear at him [Atkinson] or anything," Keane said at the weekend.

"All you want when you play one of the big boys is a bit of fairness, and I don't think we got that today."

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