FA to investigate Moyes outburst

• Manchester United are 'playing officials', says manager
• Use of flares at Stadium of Light also under scrutiny

David Moyes's latest outburst against referees is being investigated by the Football Association.

The Manchester United manager said his side were "playing referees as well as the opposition" after the 2-1 defeat against Sunderland in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.

It follows on from Moyes saying it was "scandalous" that United were not awarded a late penalty in their defeat against Tottenham at Old Trafford.

He could face a charge if it is viewed that he is casting aspersions about match officials' fairness.

Moyes had berated the referee, Andre Marriner, and his officials for the "terrible" decisions that led to Ryan Giggs's own-goal and a penalty winner by Fabio Borini.

He said of the officials: "We're having to play them as well as the opposition at the moment. It's really terrible, it really is. We're actually beginning to laugh at them, that's the thing."

Giggs's own-goal came after Marriner blew for a free-kick when Jonny Evans challenged Steven Fletcher and Sebastian Larsson's ball into the area led to Sunderland taking the lead on half-time.

"I thought the referee was going to blow in our direction for the first goal," Moyes said. "I couldn't believe he gave a free-kick. It was a terrible decision. We defended a terrible free-kick but how the referee has given a free-kick for that is way beyond me. I just cannot see how that is a free-kick. The centre-half and the centre-forward jumped together and he gave them a free-kick."

Borini's penalty came after the assistant referee, Peter Bankes, appeared to inform Marriner that Adam Johnson had been fouled by Tom Cleverley inside the area.

Moyes inferred that the winger had dived: "We had a player booked for that the other day. We had a player booked against Tottenham for the same," he said.

"The referee is looking at it – he's in a great position to look at it, right down the line, probably 15 yards, not too close, but the linesman gives it from behind. He can't see, he can't see through Patrice Evra but that's what we are finding at the moment."

The FA is also looking into several flares being let off during the Capital One Cup semi-final at the Stadium of Light.

An FA spokesman said: "We are looking into David Moyes's comments to the media following the match at Sunderland.

"We are also contacting both clubs to seek their observations in relation to the use of flares last night." © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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