Ferguson slams 'dysfunctional' FA

20 March 2010 12:12
Sir Alex Ferguson has called the Football Association "dysfunctional" for its handling of incidents involving Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard.The Manchester United manager was angry after Ferdinand got a four-match ban for a challenge on Hull's Craig Fagan. [LNB]Meanwhile, Liverpool's Gerrard was not punished for an alleged V-sign or an elbow on Portsmouth's Michael Brown, freeing him to face United on Sunday. [LNB]"There is no consistency," said Ferguson. "It is a dysfunctional unit." [LNB]Liverpool captain Gerrard has been under scrutiny twice this month, firstly for appearing to flash a V-sign at referee Andre Marriner during the 1-0 defeat to Wigan on 8 March. [LNB]A week later, he seemed to strike Brown with an elbow in the second half of the Reds' 4-1 victory over Portsmouth. [LNB]Both incidents were seen by the referee during the match, making the FA powerless to apply retrospective punishment. [LNB]"I didn't expect anything to happen to Steven Gerrard," said Ferguson. "It [the FA disciplinary panel] is a dysfunctional unit. I don't know what they are doing."[LNB] Is Ferguson right to criticise the FA's disciplinary system? Ferdinand received a three-match ban after the FA reviewed video evidence of a clash in which he appeared to swing an arm into Fagan. [LNB]The punishment was increased to four games after his appeal was rejected as "frivolous". [LNB]At the time, Ferguson likened the incident to a challenge by Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano in a Carling Cup tie against Leeds, which, like the Gerrard situations, went unpunished. [LNB]"There is no consistency for a start and I didn't expect to get any," continued Ferguson. [LNB]"I am not too bothered about it. They can do what they want down there. It is crazy at times." [LNB]Premier League leaders United host Liverpool on Sunday in a match which could go a long way towards determining whether Ferguson's men can surpass the Reds by claiming a 19th top-flight title this season. [LNB]Liverpool go into the game having won their last three matches against United, who had defender Nemanja Vidic sent off in each of those defeats. [LNB]But while the Anfield side may have the edge in the recent head-to-heads, they are inferior in the league table as they battle for fourth and a Champions League spot, while United look to cement their position at the table summit. [LNB]Last season, Liverpool finished runners up to United and many predicted they could improve on that finish this term - but Ferguson insists he is not surprised that they have struggled instead. [LNB][LNB]Torres is regaining fitness after a serious knee injury in January"Liverpool had an exceptional season last year. They hit a peak," the Scot added. [LNB]"They did very well and got a run going. When you get consistency and form it helps you but I felt it would be difficult for them to achieve that again." [LNB]With eight games left in the league, Liverpool are 15 points behind United in top spot and Ferguson agreed with Benitez's claims that his team's chances had been hampered with injuries to star man Fernando Torres. [LNB]"The word sympathy is a bit strong," he said. "You feel for any manager who doesn't do well. [LNB]"But Rafa was right when he said if Torres has been available all season the gap would have been smaller. He is a top player. When you don't have your top players you don't get top results. [LNB]"It happened to us when all our defenders were injured. What do you expect?" [LNB]United have Ryan Giggs available for Sunday's clash after the veteran Welshman recovered from the broken hand he suffered at Aston Villa last month.

Source: BBC_Sport