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Newcastle boss Benitez charged over ref comments

London (AFP) – Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has been charged by the Football Association over comments he made about referee Andre Marriner before Saturday’s draw at Crystal Palace.

Benitez had been responding to a question about Palace forward Wilfried Zaha’s plea for greater protection from referees.

Zaha said he would have to have his leg broken before an opponent was sent off following what the Eagles frontman felt was rough treatment from opponents and not enough stern action by officials.

Speaking about Zaha’s claims, Benitez had said: “I’m surprised because normally the FA deal with these comments, but I have a lot of confidence in Andre Marriner.

“He has experience – even if his record with our players is not the best in terms of red cards, but I am quite confident.

“He’s (Zaha) a good player, no doubt about that, but I think the FA has to deal with these comments and I’m sure that Andre Marriner will not have this in the back of his head.”

Following the 0-0 draw, an statement from the FA on Tuesday read: “Rafael Benitez has been charged following pre-match comments he made on Friday (21/09/18) about the appointed match referee for Newcastle United’s game against Crystal Palace on Saturday (22/09/18).”

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