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Feb 27, 2014

Pellegrini ponders UEFA charge

Manuel Pellegrini is considering how to respond to his UEFA misconduct charge as he faces the prospect of a ban that could keep him in the stands at the Nou Camp.

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The Manchester City manager faces a hearing on Friday to explain the comments he made about referee Jonas Eriksson after his side’s 2-0 defeat to Barcelona.

Pellegrini will not be present in person as he prepares City for Sunday’s Capital One Cup final against Sunderland and hosts his news conference to preview the game.

Manchester City's manager Manuel Pellegrini vents his anger on the touchline
Pellegrini could face a one-match touchline suspension

But he faces a decision whether to contest or to accept the charge of “violation of the general principles of conduct… concerning the press interviews given to media.”

Immediately after the first leg defeat to the Spanish champions, Pellegrini complained about Eriksson’s decision to award a penalty when dismissing City’s Martin Demichelis for a foul that the Chilean felt was outside the box and suggested that a Swedish official was not suited to such a game.

He said: “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.”

However, the 60-year-old backed down last Friday, apologising to UEFA and Eriksson and insisting that he had not criticised the referee’s integrity and merely felt he had a poor game.

He said then: “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].” 

If found guilty, Pellegrini could face a warning, a fine or a touchline ban which would also prevent him entering the dressing room before kick-off or at half-time.

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