Arsene Wenger hit with FA misconduct charge
Arsenal boss had two altercations with fourth official during Burnley game
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger clashes with fourth official Anthony Taylor during the Premier League game against Burnley. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters/Livepic
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been hit with a misconduct charge from the English Football Association following two altercations with fourth official Anthony Taylor during Sunday’s Premier League win over Burnley.
The Frenchman was sent from his technical area by referee Jon Moss for contesting the award of a stoppage-time penalty to the Clarets, having allegedly aimed verbal abuse at Taylor.
Wenger then attempted to watch the remainder of the game from inside the tunnel and was shown by television cameras pushing Taylor when being told he had to retreat.
Arsenal would go on to win the game 2-1 as Alexis Sanchez converted an even-later penalty after Andre Gray’s spot-kick had cancelled out Shkodran Mustafi’s opener.
Wenger apologised for his behaviour after the game but the FA confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that he has since been charged.
“Arsene Wenger has been charged for misconduct following Arsenal’s game against Burnley on Sunday (22 January 2017),” a statement on the FA website read.
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“It is alleged that in or around the 92nd minute, he used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official.
“It is 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.
“He has until 6pm on 26 January 2017 to respond to the charge.”
After the dramatic late win, which saw the Gunners move up to second place in the Premier League, Wenger admitted he should not have got involved physically with Taylor.
Asked about television replays showing him push the fourth official, Wenger said: ”I regret everything. I should have shut up, gone in and go home. I apologise for that.
“I was sent to the stands. I didn’t know if I was sent to the stands but I was sent out. I thought I could watch it from the corridor, you know. I went inside and watched it on television.
“Look, it was nothing bad. I said something that you hear every day in football. Overall nine times out of 10 you are not sent to the stand for that.
“If I am, I am, and I should have shut up completely. I was quite calm the whole game, more than usual, but just (not) in the last two or three minutes.”
Wenger faces a fine and potential touchline ban for his actions during a game in which he also saw midfielder Granit Xhaka dismissed for a lunge on Steven Defour.
The Switzerland international has now been sent off nine times for club and country since 2014 and, having already seen red against Swansea this season, will now miss Arsenal’s next four games through suspension.