Wenger to appeal UEFA punishment

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will appeal against his ’unjust’ three-match UEFA touchline ban and €40,000 fine.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will appeal against his ’unjust’ three-match UEFA touchline ban and €40,000 fine.

Wenger faced a charge of improper conduct relating to the Gunners’ Champions League round of 16 second leg tie against AC Milan at the Emirates Stadium on March 6.

The Arsenal manager confronted referee Damir Skomina following the 3-0 win, which meant a 4-3 aggregate defeat, taking issue with the Slovenian official on the pitch after the final whistle and criticising him in his post-match comments, claiming there were too many free-kicks awarded to the Italians.

It is the third time in the space of a year that Wenger has been given a touchline ban by UEFA.

Arsenal have three days in which to lodge an appeal, and speaking just before the news of the sanction was official as he prepared for tomorrow’s Barclays Premier League trip to QPR, Wenger confirmed his intentions.

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 this time last year.

The Arsenal boss was fuming at the Swiss referee’s decision to send off Robin van Persie.

Wenger was then handed a further two-match touchline suspension in August for violating his Barcelona ban by communicating with the Arsenal bench from the stands during the Gunners’ play-off tie against Udinese earlier this season.

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.”

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