Ferguson made a formal apology to Wiley and The FA for making his personal judgements in public after the match. He made the statement via United’s official website this morning.
Ferguson said: “I apologise to Mr Wiley for any personal embarrassment that my remarks may have caused and to The FA for going public with my views.
“In retrospect, I accept that this could be deemed as expressing those views in an inappropriate forum.”
Ferguson stated that he was highlighting an important issue in refereesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ standard of fitness and did not intend to offend anyone.
“My only intention in speaking publicly, was to highlight what I believe to be a serious and important issue in the game, namely that the fitness levels of referees must match the ever increasing demands of the modern game, which I hope will now be properly addressed through the appropriate formal channels.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He further commented that he regards Wiley to be a quality referee and wanted it to be made clear that he was not questioning his competency.
“I would wish it to be noted that I have always respected Mr WileyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s integrity,” he said.
“I did not state or imply that Mr Wiley is a bad referee, that he was in any way biased, that decision-making generally during the game was poor, or that he missed any key incident during the game.Ã¢â‚¬Â
He also said that he would be making a personal apology to the referee when he returns to the UK following a trip abroad: “I intend to contact him personally after I return from a trip overseas during this international break.”
Ferguson made the statement following a request by The FA to explain his post-match comments made on the day.
He may now escape punishment if it is felt to be a sufficient explanation, depending on how it is viewed by The FA.
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