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FA asks Guardiola to explain Manchester derby referee comments

12 November 2018 16:01

The Football Association (FA) has asked Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola to explain his comments about referee Anthony Taylor prior to the derby with Manchester United.

Guardiola has until 18:00 GMT on Thursday to provide his observations to the FA.

The Catalan was asked in his pre-match news conference on Friday whether he thought the fact that Taylor is from Greater Manchester was significant in terms of how he would handle the fixture.

After being told the official supports Altrincham, Guardiola said: "So no problem. He is going to try to do the best job like we try to as managers and football players.

"Even with VAR there will be mistakes but it'll reduce that issue. Taylor is going to try to make a good time.

"The important thing is focusing on our game and knowing which opponent we are going to face and that's all.

"Hopefully they can make good decisions for both sides and [it will] be a good game, like all of England and parts of Europe are going to watch us and that is an important pleasure.

"The referee doesn't want to make a mistake but knows that everybody around the world is going to watch him and he doesn't want to make mistakes. That is pretty sure.

"But if after he's a fan of United or City, everybody can be a fan wherever he wants, so no problem."

Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez was in October fined £60,000 by the FA for comments made before referee Andre Marriner oversaw their match against Crystal Palace.

Palace winger Wilfried Zaha suggested he would have to get his leg broken by an opponent for a red card to be brandished following a 1-0 win over Huddersfield Town on September 15, at which Marriner was the fourth official.

Speaking ahead of his Newcastle's 0-0 draw with Palace the following weekend, Benitez said: "Marriner will not have this in the back of his head."

The FA deemed Benitez's words "constituted improper conduct and/or brought the game into disrepute".

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