Arsenal will be without manager Arsene Wenger for their next four games.
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Wenger, 67, was handed a misconduct charge by the FA after being sent to the stands for using abusive language towards officials in stoppage time of Arsenal’s 2-1 win against Burnley last Sunday as he protested a penalty kick being awarded to Burnley with Arsenal leading 1-0.
He then pushed fourth official Anthony Taylor in the tunnel area after being sent off, and while he watched on from the stands his side won and scored a late penalty kick of their own to beat Burnley and go eight points behind Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title.
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Wenger accepted the FA charge and a personal hearing took place before an Independent Regulatory Commission on Friday to determine his fate.
Arsenal will be without their manager on the sidelines for the FA Cup fourth round clash at Southampton on Saturday, plus the Premier League games against Watford, Chelsea and Hull City in February.
Below is the full statement from the FA on Wenger’s heavy punishment.
Arsene Wenger has been given a four-match touchline ban with immediate effect after he was charged for misconduct following Arsenal’s game against Burnley on Sunday 22 January 2017.
It was alleged that in or around the 92nd minute, he used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official.
It was further alleged that following his dismissal from the technical area, his behaviour in remaining in the tunnel area and making physical contact with the fourth official amounted to improper conduct.
The Arsenal manager, who was also fined £25,000, admitted the charge and requested a personal hearing which took place before an Independent Regulatory Commission today [Friday 27 January 2017].
Wenger’s conduct on the sidelines has come under question plenty of times in the past and this ban will be as much about the severity of his actions Burnley as it was about his previous behavior. Think back to him being sent off at Manchester United in the past, plus his push on Jose Mourinho in the 2014-15 season at Stamford Bridge.
This was coming.
With Mourinho getting a one-game ban for kicking a bottle of water aggressively earlier this season and then complaining that he isn’t treated the same as other managers, there was no way Wenger, his enemy, would have gotten off with anything smaller than a two-game ban for these actions.
Pushing an official, no matter how slight the push was, cannot be tolerated and Wenger apologized immediately after the incident took place as he seemed to understand the gravity of his actions.
Arsenal’s assistant manager Steve Bould will take charge of the team while Wenger is banished from being on the touchline, but the French manager will be able to attend games and sit in the stands plus speak with his team in the locker rooms.
The first game he will be allowed back into the dugout for is the huge UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg tie at Bayern Munich on Feb. 15.