• 'They could take action … it is a very difficult one'
• 'The FA have a problem because is it legal, what they do?'
Sir Alex Ferguson has suggested the Football Association could take action against Liverpool's Luis Suárez after he admitted to diving against Stoke City. Manchester United's manager also warned that Vincent Kompany's overturned red card by the FA could "open the door" for a flood of similar decisions.
Earlier this week Suárez said that he had purposely gone to ground during Liverpool's 0-0 draw with Stoke on 7 October. Immediately afterwards Stoke's manager, Tony Pulis, labelled the Uruguayan "an embarrassment" and on Thursday Brendan Rodgers, his manager, said the act was unacceptable to Liverpool.
Ferguson believes the problem with introducing concrete sanctions against diving is proving intent. But when it was put to the Scot that the Suárez case differs because he admitted to it, Ferguson said: "That is different. They could take action on that but I don't have any views on that myself to be honest. Because I don't know much about the interview other than what I have read in the sense he has admitted he dived. But that is a different issue altogether.
"This [the issue of what to do about perceived diving] was raised at the LMA meeting during the week. What are the sanctions on that? Do they come from the club or the FA? I think the FA have a problem because is it legal, what they do? Can they prove that a lad has positively tried to dive? It is a very difficult one. They have always said that haven't they? They have no sanctions on diving. So does it go to the club? At the end of the day it probably does."
Kompany was sent off during Manchester City's 2-0 win at Arsenal on Sunday for a tackle on Jack Wilshere. Given this was a straight red card the captain faced an automatic three-match ban but this was rescinded on appeal.
Choosing his words carefully, Ferguson said: "Anything I say about the situation will be regarded [as] bias so I'm not going bother with it. It does open the door of course but that's their problem." Pressed if this meant he thought more and more clubs could appeal, Ferguson said: "I think that is bound to happen now. But they will probably turn them all down now. I'm not going to go into it. Anything I say will be regarded as bias towards our immediate opponents or friendly neighbours [City]." Ferguson said that Jonny Evans's hamstring problem rules him out of Sunday's trip to Tottenham Hotspur. However, Danny Welbeck is available despite wearing a cast on his arm for a sprained wrist ligament as the striker takes this off for matches.