• Allardyce charged by FA after criticising Phil Dowd
• Comments arose after defeat by Manchester United

Sam Allardyce will contest his misconduct charge from the Football Association and he has requested a personal hearing to plead his innocence, in the wake of his criticisms of the referee Phil Dowd in West Ham United's 1-0 FA Cup replay defeat at Manchester United last Wednesday.

The West Ham manager was furious that United were awarded a penalty for handball against Jordan Spence, which Wayne Rooney missed but his team were denied one, after Rafael da Silva appeared to handle in similar fashion.

Allardyce suggested that Dowd came to his decisions because he lacked the "courage" required to do his job at Old Trafford. "There's no doubt about the difference between Rafael's handball and Spence's. Spence plays for West Ham and the away team, while Rafael plays for the home side at Old Trafford. You see it time and time again at Old Trafford.

"He [Dowd] couldn't find the courage to give it unfortunately, and there was a very similar incident with Jordan Spence and it was given. You have to have the courage to referee here. But why are you a professional referee or player? To come to these places to do your job and do it to the best of your ability."


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