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Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Samir Nasri banned by Uefa


Wenger says Uefa should apologise

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Samir Nasri have been banned for one European match by Uefa over remarks made to Champions League referee Massimo Busacca.

The pair were charged with improper conduct for "inappropriate language" following the Gunners' last-16 second-leg defeat at Barcelona on 8 March.

Boss Wenger, who will not be allowed to be on duty for his side's next European tie, has also been fined 10,000 euros.

Wenger and midfielder Nasri have three days to lodge an appeal.

The ban for Wenger means he cannot enter the dressing room, tunnel, technical area or pitch when his side next plays in Europe. He will also be prevented from communicating with his team before, during and - for a specified period - after the game.

Wenger and Nasri were furious with Busacca's for his second-half dismissal of Robin Van Persie, who was shown a second yellow card for shooting at goal a second after the official had blown for offside.

Striker Van Persie insisted he had not heard the whistle because of the noise of the 95,000-plus crowd in the Nou Camp.

Barca won the match 3-1 to complete a 4-3 aggregate victory and Wenger described the Swiss official's decision as "embarrassing".

"It is a shame for me that the referee took the decision to send Robin van Persie off. It was the wrong decision," said Wenger.

"The first leg was a fantastic advert for football and the second game has been destroyed. People now will only remember the sending off."

Of Uefa's decision to open disciplinary proceedings, Wenger added: It would be good for Uefa to show humility, to apologise, not charge people who have done nothing wrong.

"We are out of the Champions League, we have lost one of our big ambitions, we have been punished with a lot of damages and on top of that, we have to say sorry to Uefa.

"When you have a football game of that stature, you cannot come out with decisions like that and show a lot of arrogance on top of that.

"We can all understand that we can make wrong decisions, but after that it becomes dictatorship."

The sending off came only three minutes after an own goal from Barcelona's Sergio Busquets made it 1-1 on the night, after Lionel Messi's opener for Barcelona, and put Arsenal 3-2 ahead on aggregate.

Arsenal held out for 16 minutes with 10 men, but ultimately the relentless pressure from the home side told and Xavi's goal levelled the tie overall before a Messi penalty sealed Barcelona's progression to the quarter-finals.

This was reward for a fine performance from the Spanish champions, who dominated the second leg in which Arsenal failed to muster a shot on target.

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see also
Wenger fumes at Uefa over charge
10 Mar 11 |  Arsenal
Wenger and Nasri charged by Uefa
09 Mar 11 |  Europe
Arsenal berate referee after exit
09 Mar 11 |  Europe
Guardiola sympathises with Arsenal
09 Mar 11 |  Arsenal
Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (agg 4-3)
08 Mar 11 |  Europe

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