FA decides on Sir Alex Ferguson sanction after criticism of linesman

• Manchester United manager could be banned from touchline
• Outburst over lack of penalty award to Rooney at Tottenham

Sir Alex Ferguson is set to discover whether he faces sanction from the Football Association over criticism of the assistant referee at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

Ferguson was incensed by Simon Beck's refusal to award a penalty to Manchester United after a challenge by the Spurs defender Steven Caulker on Wayne Rooney. Following the 1-1 draw, when United conceded a late equaliser to Clint Dempsey, he claimed "the stand-side linesman didn't give us a thing all day" and "we never got anything on that side of the pitch". Ferguson also referred to a previous incident with Beck when he allowed a Didier Drogba goal that "was three yards offside" for Chelsea.

The United manager explained his comments to the FA before Thursday's 6pm deadline and a disciplinary panel has until Tuesday evening to decide whether Beck's integrity was questioned. Ferguson could be banned from the touchline and fined if found guilty of misconduct.

Roberto Mancini, who was invited to explain his comment that the referee Kevin Friend "ate too much" before Manchester City's defeat at Sunderland on Boxing Day, escaped censure from the FA.

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