Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has been handed a three-match ban from UEFA for misconduct, one of which is suspended for two years, after his post-match outburst against Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson following City’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to FC Barcelona earlier this month.
Pellegrini claimed Eriksson had “not been impartial” after awarding Barcelona a penalty, sending off defender Martin Demichelis and making several calls against the Chilean managers side. Pellergini, 60, also claimed that Eriksson made those calls after he’d come under previous scrutiny for decision made against Barcelona when they played AC Milan earlier in the tournament.
Comments like those were always going to land Pellegrini in hot water, despite his sincere apology following the heated tirade against the Swedish official, and on Friday UEFA charged him with the ban as he is not allowed on the touchline or in the dressing room during City’s trip to Barcelona on March 12. He can only be present in the stand and have no communication with the bench.
In a statement UEFA said the following:
“Uefa’s Control and Disciplinary Body has banned Manchester City FC head coach Manuel Pellegrini for three Uefa competition games, one of which is under probation for two years. The sanction is due to the coach’s press statements and violation of the general principles of conduct under Article 11 of the 2013 Uefa Disciplinary Regulations (DR) at the Uefa Champions League round-of-16 first leg between Manchester City and FC Barcelona on 18 February in England.”
As we mentioned Pellegrini apologized to referee Eriksson and the people of Sweden, who he inadvertently offended, so an appeal against his ban isn’t expected.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday