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Richard Jolly profile picture Posted by Richard Jolly
Feb 20, 2014

Pellegrini charged by UEFA

ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti gives his take on Manuel Pellegrini's postgame rant about the ref from Manchester City's 2-0 loss against Barcelona

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has been charged with misconduct by UEFA for the comments he made about referee Jonas Eriksson after Tuesday's 2-0 defeat to Barcelona.

Pellegrini's case will be heard on Friday, Feb. 28 and he could face a fine or a touchline ban -- which would also prevent him from giving a prematch or half-time team talk to his players -- if he is found guilty.

A UEFA statement read: "Following an investigation by the UEFA disciplinary inspector, UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Manuel Luis Pellegrini concerning the press interviews given to media after the above-mentioned match.

"The Manchester City head coach is charged for violation of the general principles of conduct."

Pellegrini was angry with Eriksson, who sent off City's Martin Demichelis and awarded a penalty for a challenge that the 60-year-old thought was outside the box, while arguing his side should have been awarded a free-kick for a tackle on Jesus Navas seconds earlier.

He said after the game on Tuesday: "From the beginning I felt the referee was not impartial to both teams. I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in such an important match. A big game with two important teams, that kind of game needs a referee with more experience."

Pellegrini backtracked on his comments when he gave his news conference on Friday to preview City's Saturday game against Stoke and insisted he did not accuse Eriksson of being biased.

Then he said: "Maybe I said some things I didn't mean in that way so I apologise for what I said. I didn't make any serious accusations about anyone, not about the referee, not about UEFA, not about anyone.

"He decided the game, but not with the intention of benefiting Barcelona or damaging Manchester City. He was in a bad day.

"I didn't say he was a bad referee, that he was not honest or that he cannot referee in UEFA [competitions]."

However, that was not enough to prevent UEFA from charging him.

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