Rafael Benitez: Newcastle manager fined £60,000 for referee comments

Wilfried Zaha in action against Newcastle
Wilfried Zaha said he would need to break his leg before opponents were shown a red card

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez has been fined £60,000 after accepting a charge for commenting about the referee prior to his team's Premier League game against Crystal Palace last month.

The Spaniard was responding to Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, who had said he was not being protected by referees.

Benitez said he had "confidence" in match official Andre Marriner.

The Football Association constituted the comments as improper conduct and/or bringing the game into disrepute.

FA rules state managers are not allowed to talk about specific referees prior to a game.

Zaha had said he believed he would need to have his leg broken before opponents were shown a red card.

Benitez responded: "I am surprised because normally the FA deal with these comments. I have a lot of confidence with Andre Marriner.

"He has a lot of experience, even if his record with our players is not that great in terms of red cards. He is an experienced referee.

"Zaha is a good player, no doubt about that, but I think the FA have to deal with his comments. I think Andre Marriner will not have this in the back of his head.

"The way that he [Zaha] plays, normally, he will receive more tackles than other players because he likes to run at players. It won't make any difference for our players."

The game finished 0-0.

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