Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has been fined £60,000 by the FA for his comments regarding a match official prior to the Magpies' 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in September, according to the BBC.
The Spaniard's statement came as a response to Wilfried Zaha claiming he did not receive enough protection from referees.
Per FA rules, managers aren't allowed to refer to specific referees before a match. And Benitez's saying he had confidence in Andre Marriner ahead of the Premier League clash was construed as improper conduct.
"I am surprised because normally the FA deal with these comments. I have a lot of confidence with Andre Marriner," the Newcastle coach said before the match.
"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.
BREAKING: Rafa Benitez has been fined £60,000 after accepting an FA charge for comments he made about the referee prior to Newcastle’s game against Crystal Palace two weeks ago.— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) October 5, 2018
"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."
Benitez accepted the FA's charge over his comments and will now be £60,000 out of pocket as a result.