Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal will not take on the chin the Football Association (FA) disrepute charge for comments he made after the first FA Cup against Cambridge United.
The Veteran Dutch coach confirmed on Friday he will contest the charge, which was prompted by comments he made about referee Chris Foy after his side’s goalless draw at Cambridge last month.
Van Gaal, speaking after the match at the Abbey Stadium, had said: “You have seen the referee. It’s always the same.”
The FA announced the charge a day after United’s 3-0 replay win in the same fixture and gave the manager until Monday to respond.
Louis van Gaal Says He Will Contest His FA Disrepute Charge. Image: Getty.
“I never said anything wrong. I never say something about the referee, never,” Van Gaal told reporters.
The former Holland, Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss appears to have taken the charge personal, believing it is a stain on his otherwise impeccable disciplinary record.
He said: “I am not angry, I am very disappointed. For nearly 30 years a trainer, coach or manager and I have never been charged.
Up to now I don’t think that I said something wrong. I said in our press conference, the same phrases, because I knew in advance (of the tie) that everything (would be) in favor of the underdog. It’s always like that. I said it in front of the game and I said it after the game, only in the meaning of the general feeling of everybody – everybody for the underdog. So I cannot imagine (why) the FA has charged me. But, okay, it’s like that.”
Van Gaal’s predescessor, Sir Alex Ferguson, more-or-less never befriended the FA and often time did feel the governing body would single out the 20-time champions for special treatments because of their status and success.
The 63-year-old was then quizzed if he felt the FA might be making a scapegoat of him because he was the Red Devils’ boss. He replied: “If I say that, then I am maybe rightly charged, so I don’t say it.”
It was a long day for Van Gaal, who earlier attended the annual Munich memorial service to mark the 57th anniversary of the air crash. He laid a wreath and observed a minute’s silence at 3:03pm- the exact time of the plane crash back in 1958.
Eight members of the club’s famed ‘Busby Babes’ side were among 23 passengers who lost their lives on take-off following a refueling break in the German city on their way back from a European Cup game at Red Star Belgrade.
Van Gaal read a passage from ‘Flowers of Manchester’ at his pre-game media briefing ahead of Sunday’s trip to West Ham a short while later. He said he was impressed by the man who sang during the commemoration service.
“‘You are the strength and inspiration for those who play your roles today,’” he read.
“‘We look for flair, pace and passion, to play the game United’s way.’ I was happy I was there because of this, and also the impression the people gave to me that I was there.
We have made the right decision to be there, out of respect to the players and Matt Busby.
“I represent the club nowadays as a manager and I represent my group of players,” Van Gaal added on the importance of his presence at the short ceremony outside old Trafford. “This was also a group of players who gave a lot of joy to the people at that time. I think they played a big part in the history of this club. I think we have to remember that always.”
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