Belfast Telegraph

Wenger handed Euro ban

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been handed a three-match UEFA touchline ban and fined 40,000 Euros (£33,352) by UEFA's control and disciplinary body.

Wenger faced a charge of improper conduct relating to Arsenal's Champions League round of 16 second leg tie against AC Milan at the Emirates Stadium on March 6. The suspension applies to the next three UEFA club competition matches for which Wenger will be eligible.

Wenger was charged after confronting referee Damir Skomina following Arsenal's 3-0 win over AC Milan which meant a 4-3 aggregate defeat.

The Frenchman took issue with the Slovenian official on the pitch after the final whistle and criticised him in his post-match comments. It is the third time in the space of a year that Wenger has been given a touchline ban by UEFA.

Wenger has said he will appeal against his 'unjust' punishment.

He said: "If I am [suspended] then it is not justified and I will appeal straight away. I believe that they have transformed UEFA competition referees to be untouchable icons, where you cannot even have a word. The only thing they understand after the game is the report.

"I believe that when you have 25 years consecutively in Europe you can still ask the referee that you can have some discussion with him. It is very difficult to understand."

UEFA had handed Wenger a one-match touchline ban for an on-field rant at Massimo Busacca following his team's last 16 exit to Barcelona last year. Wenger was then handed a further two-match ban in August for violating his Barcelona ban by communicating with the Arsenal bench from the stands during the Gunners' play-off tie against Udinese.

The Gunners boss added: "Last year I have been suspended a second time - the first time was not justified, the second time was a joke because they told me what to do and afterwards they told me 'no, sorry, that was wrong'.

"So at the moment I have difficulties with UEFA and I can take what is wrong on my side, but in these different situations I think they go a little bit overboard if they suspend me."


From Belfast Telegraph