London: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti were both warned as to their future conduct by the Football Association (FA) on Tuesday in relation to recent comments about referee Howard Webb.
Both managers made complimentary remarks about World Cup final referee Webb ahead of the Premier League clash between the title rivals at Old Trafford on May 8.
However, in the process, they contravened FA regulations prohibiting managers from making any comments whatsoever about referees prior to a match.
Ferguson was warned to his future conduct before the FA issued an identical ruling on Ancelotti several hours later the same day.
Scottish boss Ferguson was handed a five-match touchline ban by the FA earlier this term for his derogatory comments about referee Martin Atkinson during United's match at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge ground.
But there was widespread disbelief that he faced the prospect of being punished for praising Webb, with even Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, a longstanding rival of Ferguson, saying: "To me, it doesn't look to be a major problem to say that somebody is good. I would not charge him for that."
United beat Chelsea 2-1 and last weekend gained the point they needed to reclaim the Premier League title from the Blues with a draw at Blackburn.
Now Ferguson can concentrate on preparing United for their Champions League final against Spanish giants Barcelona at Wembley on May 28 without the threat of more significant FA action hanging over him.
First Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 10:13