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Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez slap with £60,000 fine for PRAISING referee Andre Marriner before Palace clash in September

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has been fined £60,000 by the Football Association after accepting a charge of commenting on a referee ahead of a game.

Benitez has been hit with a fine for praising referee Andre Marriner before his side’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on September 22.

The Newcastle boss said of Marriner at the time: ‘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.’

Benitez commented on Marriner after Wilfried Zaha called for more protection after being targeted in Palace’s defeat by Watford back in August.

Newcastle went on to claim a point at Selhurst Park with referee Marriner only having to dish out two yellow cards to James Tomkins and DeAndre Yedlin.

The FA said in 2009 that they were closely monitoring what players and managers said about referees before games.

‘ Clubs are being advised that any media comments by managers, players or any other club officials relating to appointed match officials prior to a fixture will no longer be allowed,’ read an FA statement.

‘Such pre-match comments will be deemed improper and dealt with accordingly.

‘Post-match comments in relation to match officials and incidents are still permitted provided they are not personal in their nature, imply bias or attack the integrity of the officials in charge of the match, or in any other respect bring the game into disrepute.’

Benitez accepted the charge a week after his side’s showdown with Palace.

He will be hoping his side can claim their first win of the season against Manchester United at the weekend.

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