Newcastle boss Benitez fined £60,000 for questioning referee's red card record

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The Football Association has sanctioned the Spanish coach after he spoke about match official Andre Marriner before a match with Crystal Palace

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has been fined £60,000 by the Football Association (FA) after accepting a charge for comments made about a referee.

Speaking ahead of his side's 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace on September 22, the 58-year-old suggested the FA should review Wilfried Zaha's remarks in which he called for greater protection on the pitch from officials.

Benitez said he was "surprised" at Zaha and went on to state that referee Andre Marriner, who took charge of the game at Selhurst Park, had a questionable record concerning red cards.

"He's a good player no doubt about that but I think the FA has to deal with his comments," Benitez said in his pre-match news conference.

"I'm sure that Marriner will not have this in the back of his head.

"He has a lot of experience, even if his record is not the best in terms of red cards, but I'm confident he is a very good referee with a lot of experience and he will deal with the situation in a normal way."

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Benitez was charged for making comments that "constituted improper conduct and/or brought the game into disrepute" by the FA and has been punished.

"Rafael Benitez has been fined £60,000 after accepting an FA charge for commenting on the match referee prior to Newcastle United's game against Crystal Palace," an FA statement confirmed.

"His comments made during the pre-match press conference on Friday 21 September 2018 constituted improper conduct and/or brought the game into disrepute."

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