Louis van Gaal vows to fight FA charge
Louis van Gaal said Friday he would fight his FA charge after the Manchester United manager fell foul of the football authorities following his team`s goalless FA Cup draw at fourth-tier Cambridge last month
Manchester: Louis van Gaal said Friday he would fight his FA charge after the Manchester United manager fell foul of the football authorities following his team`s goalless FA Cup draw at fourth-tier Cambridge last month
The Dutchman was alleged to have made comments that suggested match referee Chris Foy had been biased in favour of the hosts in his handling of the initial fourth round tie, which Manchester United won 3-0 in the replay at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
But van Gaal was clearly shocked at the development and pointed to his past record throughout his managerial career as evidence of his innocence.
"I am not angry, I am very disappointed," he told a news conference. "I am now for nearly 30 years a trainer-coach or manager and I have never been charged.
"And still, up to now, I don`t think that I said something wrong.
"I said already in our press conference, the same phrases, because I know in advance (of the tie) that everything is in favour of the underdog. You, as media, have confirmed that. It`s always like that.
"I said it before the game and I said it after the game, only in the meaning of the general feeling of everybody, everybody is for the underdog. So I cannot imagine the FA has charged me. But, okay, it`s like that. Of course I will contest it. I never said anything wrong.
"You can confirm, as the media, that I never say anything about the referee, in all the matches I have played," he added.
However, van Gaal stopped short of repeating the claim often made by one of his United predecessors, Alex Ferguson, -- and one currently being cast around by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho -- that the FA has an agenda against his club.
Van Gaal joked: "If say that, then I am maybe rightly charged, so I don`t say it!"Meanwhile, Van Gaal attended the annual memorial service for the `Busby Babe` victims of the Munich air disaster held at Old Trafford on Friday and was clearly moved by the experience.
Supporters, well wishers and family members marked the tragedy which claimed 23 lives in February 1958 when a plane carrying the United squad crashed on a snow-covered runway in Munich in February 1958 while returning from a European Cup match in Belgrade.
Among those killed were United stars such as Duncan Edwards and Tommy Taylor -- two members of a youthful side nicknamed `the Busby Babes` in honour of manager Matt Busby.
However, Busby himself survived and he was still United`s manager when the club won its first European Cup title a decade late in 1968.
"I represent the club nowadays as a manager and my group of players," said van Gaal.
"They (the Busby Babes) were also a group of players who brought a lot of joy to the people at that time. I think they have played a big part in the history of this club. I think we have to remember that always."
Van Gaal was also moved by the signing of supporters who paid tribute to Busby and his players and is conscious of the legacy he is required to safeguard as the club`s current manager.
"There were men who were singing and I was impressed. I want to read in front of you what they said because I was impressed because of the big influence they still have now," he said.
"These were the last sentences...`You are the strength and inspiration for those who play your roles today` --that is me and the players.
"`We look for flair and pace and passion, to play the game United`s way`".
Van Gaal added: "I was happy I was there because of this and also the impression the people gave to me.
"I think it was impressive for all the people and also me. It was 57 years ago and still the people are coming and still we remember, and that doesn`t happen so often, so I think it`s good."