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Girard facing UEFA charge

UEFA has charged Montpellier coach Rene Girard for making an offensive gesture towards the Schalke bench during Wednesday's Champions League clash.

• Schalke 2-2 Montpellier

UEFA has accused Girard of "improper conduct" after he raised his middle finger when a row developed between the two benches during a heated game in Gelsenkirchen that saw the French champions claim a late 2-2 draw.

Montpellier saw five players booked during the match and also had Garry Bocaly sent off for an incident that left Schalke starlet Julian Draxler with a forearm fracture.

Girard said of Schalke coach Huub Stevens after the match: "He obviously thought it was okay to wave at us and make gestures."

Speaking to RTL, he explained: "I was unhappy with the refereeing at the beginning of the game. Considering we were playing in Europe, I thought the referee was not whistling for enough fouls.

"He [Stevens] came to talk a little bit. I'm sorry for that, but it's true that, at the end of the game, I made an improper gesture. But it came so naturally that I couldn't refrain myself from doing it. I was in a particularly euphoric mood. It's just one of those squabbles that can often happen."

However, Schalke coach Stevens replied: "He was calling for a yellow card after every foul and that's not fair. That's what I also told the fourth official. That's not worthy of the Champions League and it's poor form."

Stevens did not see Girard's gesture in the stadium but, when confronted with the images on television, he replied: "That's not the standard the Champions League needs. I won't stoop to this level."

The UEFA disciplinary panel will consider the case on Tuesday.

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