Rafa Benitez hit with FA charge after comments on Andre Mariner's Newcastle record

Rafa Benitez is facing an FA charge
Rafa Benitez is facing an FA charge

Rafa Benitez is facing disciplinary action from the FA following comments made in the build-up to Saturday's game at Crystal Palace.

The Spaniard is facing a charge following remarks made about referee Andre Mariner in his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Selhurst Park.

Benitez had hinted that Mariner should keep a watchful eye on Wilfried Zaha, who himself had asked for officials to give him more protection during the week.

And while the Newcastle manager claimed that Mariner's record with his players was 'not the best', he backed the referee to deal with whatever matters cropped up on the pitch.

“I have a lot of confidence in Andre Marriner," Benitez said.

“He has a lot of experience, even if his record with our players is not the best in terms of red cards.

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“I'm quite confident he's a very good referee with experience and he will deal with things on the pitch in a normal way.”

It is these comments which have led to Benitez facing the FA charge, which was confirmed via the governing body's spokesperson this evening.

There were suggestions in some news outlets late last week that the Newcastle manager would not be charged, but would instead be reminded of his responsibilities as a top flight manager.

However, the FA have decided to hit Benitez with a charge - which could lead to further disciplinary action.

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Benitez can appeal the charge, and has until 6pm on Friday to do so.

A tweet read: "Rafael Benítez 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].

"He has until 6pm on 28 September 2018 to respond to the charge."