Wenger hits out after Champions League touchline ban

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has reacted angrily to being given a three-game European touchline ban and a £33,000 fine for describing a referee’s performance as “a disgrace”, criticising UEFA for blocking any dialogue between a manager and an official, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Wenger was punished for condemning Damir Skomina after Arsenal’s 3-0 second-leg victory over Milan in the Champions League and for allegedly swearing at the Slovenian official. Despite the result Arsenal bowed out of the competition after losing the first-leg 4-0, and after being censured Wenger said: “[The punishment] is not justified and I will appeal. [UEFA] have transformed referees into untouchable icons, where you cannot even have a word.

Wenger was banned from the dugout at the start of Arsenal’s Champions League campaign this season after an outburst following the Gunners’ defeat to Barcelona last season. The ban was later extended to another two games after Wenger was accused of communicating with a player from the stands. At the time Wenger described the original suspension as “not justified” and dismissed the ban’s extension as “a joke”.

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