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Hammers boss Grant charged by FA

West Ham manager Avram Grant has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association for comments he made about referee Mike Jones after Stoke had knocked his side out of the FA Cup.

The Hammers lost 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, dashing their hopes of making the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley and though they scored a fortuitous goal after Frederic Piquionne appeared to control the ball with his arm prior to scoring, Grant could not hide his disappointment with Jones.

He accused the referee of trying to level things up by awarding Stoke a penalty, just minutes after West Ham equalised. Then he complained that James Tomkins should have had a penalty after he grappled with Stoke's Jonathan Walters.

After the game Grant said in reference to the award of Stoke's penalty: "I think maybe this is the reason the referee started the second half very strange. Until they scored [the second] goal he gave fouls, a penalty, everything for them.

"It was a penalty for us at the end which he didn't give. What happened with Tomkins was more bushido (the Japanese code of conduct for samurai warriors). Maybe he felt a little bit guilty. I think it was the effect of the first goal for us."

A statement on the FA's website read: "The FA has today charged West Ham United manager Avram Grant with Improper Conduct relating to media comments.

"The charge relates to comments made about match official Mike Jones in post-match interviews following West Ham United's fixture with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday 13 March 2011. Grant has until 4pm on 21 March to respond to the charge."

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