Ancelotti backs Ferguson after ban

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Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has defended Sir Alex Ferguson in the wake of the Manchester United manager being handed a five-match touchline ban.

The ban, as well as a £30,000 fine, comes after the Scot criticised manager Martin Atkinson following United's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Ancelotti's Chelsea.

After the full-time whistle, Ferguson said: "I must say, when I saw who the referee was I feared it. I feared the worst."

Atkinson awarded The Blues a contentious penalty 12 minutes from time, but the Italian boss, whose team directly benefited from the referee's decision believes the ban is too harsh.

"I think that, my opinion, is that Ferguson has always had good behaviour and I think five games now is too much," he said.


"There is no reason he has to be out for five matches and I do not think that can change their strength and the power of Manchester United.

"I know what he said after the game. Obviously it was not good behaviour but five games is too much."

Ferguson has 48 hours to appeal against the ban, which if he doesn't, will start after United's home game with Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford this weekend.

He'll be missing from the touchline for United's trips to West Ham United and Arsenal and the home matches with Fulham and Everton.

But perhaps most decisively he'll be the first manager to be banned from the touchline at Wembley, for the all-Manchester FA Cup semi-final in April.

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