London – Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson will not be punished for his confrontation with the officials during his side's 4-3 win over Newcastle United, the Football Association said on Thursday.
Ferguson berated referee Mike Dean and two of his assistants at half-time of Wednesday's game, after being angered that Newcastle's second goal – a Jonny Evans own goal – was given despite Papiss Cisse being in an offside position.
Ferguson felt Dean should not have over-ruled his assistant, Jake Collin, who initially raised his flag for offside, and berated both men, as well as fourth official Neil Swarbrick, as the teams re-emerged for the second half at Old Trafford.
“The referee changed the linesman's mind,” Ferguson said afterwards. “He said it was an own goal. But if you see it again, and the referee can't, the guy (Cisse) is in an offside position, then he pulls Evans' arm.
“If that is not interfering, what is? I think it was a bad decision.”
The Premier League also issued a clarification, backing Dean's decision, and explaining that “as Cisse did not play the ball, then he was not interfering with play”.
The league added: “It is also the case that Cisse didn't interfere with the opponent.”
The FA said no action would be taken against the United manager because Dean made no reference to the confrontation in his report on the match.
United's victory, secured by a 90th-minute goal from Javier Hernandez, left Ferguson's side seven points clear of second-place Manchester City in the Premier League. – Sapa-AFP