Sir Alex Ferguson has apologised to referee Alan Wiley for any embarrassment caused by his sustained attack on the official's fitness after last week's encounter between Manchester United and Sunderland at Old Trafford.
Immediately after the 2-2 draw Ferguson questioned whether Wiley had the necessary fitness to take charge of such a keenly contested Premier League match and claimed that at periods during the game he needed a rest.
The attack outraged referees, who have put the Football Association under pressure to take tough action when they review the case, having now asked Ferguson for an explanation.
But the Scot has already decided it was not the wisest choice of words.
'I apologise to Mr Wiley for any personal embarrassment my comments mayhave caused and to the FA for going public with my views,' said Ferguson.