Rafael Benitez: Newcastle United boss charged by FA over referee comments
Newcastle United boss Rafael Benitez has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association for commenting on the appointment of referee Andy Madley for 24 April's league win over Preston.
The FA allege that the 57-year-old's words were "improper and/or brought the game into disrepute" after he expressed "surprise" at Madley's appointment.
The Spaniard has until 18:00 BST on Tuesday to respond to the charge.
The former Liverpool boss could face a £2,000 fine if found guilty by the FA.
Benitez's comments came in a pre-match press conference where he questioned Huddersfield-born Madley taking charge of the game, when Huddersfield Town still had a chance of beating the Magpies to second spot in the Championship.
Newcastle went on to win the game against North End 4-1 and clinch promotion to the Premier League.
"I was really surprised with the assignation, but we have to trust the referees," Benitez had said. "I know it's a difficult job. Hopefully everything will be fine and nobody will be talking about the referee at the end of the game."