Underfire ref Clattenburg stands by United star Fletcher's sending off

11 January 2010 11:36

Referee Mark Clattenburg has defended his decision to send off Manchester United midfielder Darren Ferguson on Saturday.

Clattenburg received heavy criticism from United boss Sir Alex Ferguson for sending the Scotland international off for a second bookable offence after his late trip on Birmingham City striker Cameron Jerome.

Ferguson slammed the decision as 'soft' and 'ridiculous', leading to suggestions he could find himself in more trouble with the FA.

No way: Darren Fletcher is giving his marching orders

Clattenburg said: 'You'll have to ask him about his comments, that's not my business,' said the official.

'There were two yellow cards for Fletcher. In the first half he was b*******d for dissent, I warned him for dissent.

'He was cautioned before half-time for a foul, then he cynically tripped the Birmingham player.

Clattenburg also explained the situation regarding the aftermath over United's equaliser when the linesman flagged for offside against Wayne Rooney despite Scott Dann turning the ball into his own net.

He added: 'I saw that a player from the home side had scored an own goal, but my assistant say Rooney in an offside position and correctly put the flag up.

'I went across to talk to him and he told me why he had flagged, but because Rooney did not score and it was an own goal, it must stand.

'If Rooney had scored then he would have been given offside. As the law stands, for a player to be offside he must be either playing the ball or interfering with play.

'In this case the defender tried to clear it and scored an own goal. Rooney was two or three yards away from him.'

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Source: Daily_Mail