London, Mar 17 (ANI): Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson was described as 'spitting mad' after getting a five-match touchline ban for criticising referee Martin Atkinson.
Ferguson had criticised Atkinson for not sending off Chelsea defender David Luiz after fouls on Javier Hernandez and Wayne Rooney when he had already been booked.
Football Association chiefs also fined the United boss 30,000 pounds for his jibes at the referee.
Ferguson has to sit in the stands for four Premier League games and the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City, making him the first manager ever to be banned from the dugout at Wembley.
He was convinced he would overturn a charge of improper conduct at a personal hearing before the FA on Wednesday, The Sun reports.
Ferguson believes he has been punished not only for giving an honest opinion of Atkinson for his performance in United's 2-1 defeat at Chelsea on March 1, but for a slip of the tongue.
A United source said: "He believes he was just giving an honest appraisal of the referee's performance. He didn't mean to claim the referee was biased and corrected the reference to him being 'fair' in his after-match interview straight away.
"Having explained himself and defended his actions he is spitting mad that he has still received such a tough punishment." (ANI)
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