Ref - Fletch red card was right
Mark Clattenburg insists he was right to send off Darren Fletcher after criticism from Sir Alex Ferguson.
Last Updated: 11/01/10 10:59am
Mark Clattenburg insists he was right to send off Darren Fletcher against Birmingham City following criticism from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Fletcher was dismissed for collecting a second yellow card during the latter stages of United's 1-1 draw at Birmingham on Saturday following a trip on Cameron Jerome.
Ferguson described the decision as 'ridiculous' and 'soft' after the match, leading to reports that the United boss could again be in trouble with the Football Association regarding his comments about referees.
However, Clattenburg is confident he made the right decision to dismiss Fletcher, having booked the midfielder for a challenge on Lee Bowyer in the first half.
Clattenburg also warned the Scotland international about showing dissent and did not wish to be drawn into a row with Ferguson.
"You'll have to ask him about his comments, that's not my business," said the official. "There were two yellow cards for Fletcher.
"In the first half he was b*******d for dissent, I warned him for dissent.
"He was cautioned before half-time for a foul, then he cynically tripped the Birmingham player."
Clattenburg also explained the situation regarding the furore about United's equaliser when the linesman flagged for offside against Wayne Rooney despite Scott Dann turning the ball into his own net.
He added: "I saw that a player from the home side had scored an own goal, but my assistant say Rooney in an offside position and correctly put the flag up.
"I went across to talk to him and he told me why he had flagged, but because Rooney did not score and it was an own goal, it must stand.
"If Rooney had scored then he would have been given offside.
"As the law stands, for a player to be offside he must be either playing the ball or interfering with play. In this case the defender tried to clear it and scored an own goal. Rooney was two or three yards away from him."