Wenger given three-match touchline ban and fined ¤45,000
Arsenal manager punished for remarks about refereeing at West Brom game
Arsène Wenger has been handed a three-match touchline ban and a £40,000 (¤45,045) fine following a Football Association misconduct charge over comments he made about the refereeing of Arsenal’s game against West Brom.
He will start the punishment in the FA Cup at Nottingham Forest tomorrow and it will take in two other away games, in the Carabao Cup at Chelsea and against Bournemouth in the Premier League.
Arsène Wenger’s referee paranoia will chip away at Arsenal’s conviction
A statement from the FA yesterday read: “Arsène Wenger will serve a touchline ban for Arsenal’s next three matches after he was charged with misconduct.
“It follows an independent regulatory commission hearing today at which the Arsenal manager admitted that his language and behaviour in the match officials’ changing room after the West Brom game on Sunday was abusive, improper and questioned the integrity of the match referee. He was also fined £40,000.”
In a separate case, Wenger has been asked by the governing body to provide his observations on what he said about penalty decisions which went against Arsenal in matches against West Brom and Chelsea over the festive period.
Wenger said yesterday morning that he stood by his comments. He was angry that Calum Chambers was penalised by Dean for a handball at West Brom and believes Eden Hazard should have been booked for diving when the Chelsea player won a penalty the manager described as “farcical”.
Wenger appeared to suggest after the Chelsea game that there may be a conspiracy against his team. “We got again a farcical decision on a penalty but we knew that, as well, before,” he said.
He is not backing down. “I maintain what I said in the press conference [after the Chelsea game] – 100 per cent,” he said yesterday. “I have nothing to change in that. I’ve been in England for 21 years and I try to serve this game with honesty and integrity and when I have something to say I will say it. On that front, nothing will change, never.
“You imagine that I’ve been in the game for 21 years. What I’ve seen and heard in the corridors from people, you might understand that I’m surprised and shocked at having been charged.”
Regarding the penalty awarded for Héctor Bellerín’s challenge on Hazard, he said: “I think it was a yellow card for Hazard. One hundred per cent [he dived]. I have a right to have my opinion and I respect everybody’s opinion.”
When it was pointed out that Jack Wilshere was accused of diving in the same match, he replied: “Maybe he did, but why should that change my opinion on the penalty? It has nothing to do with the penalty.
“You have your opinion and I have my opinion and I’ve been in the game long enough to know that everybody can have a different opinion.”
Arsène Wenger: ban begins with FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest