Manuel Pellegrini could boycott his pre-match news conference ahead of Manchester City’s game in Barcelona, according to reports in British media, after being given a two-match touchline ban by UEFA.
The Chilean could send either assistant manager Ruben Cousillas or coach Brian Kidd to deal with the press on Tuesday evening as City prepare for Wednesday’s tie at the Nou Camp.
Pellegrini was sanctioned by European football’s governing body for his comments after Barcelona’s 2-0 first leg win at the Etihad Stadium when he was fiercely critical of Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson
But he believes the two-game suspension, which will prevent him from addressing his players at the ground before the game or at half-time, is harsh. Pellegrini also has a further one-match ban suspended for two years, depending upon his future conduct.
Pellegrini withdrew his original suggestions that Eriksson was “not impartial” and should not have been given such a high-profile match because he usually officiates in the Swedish league but maintained the referee decided the outcome of the match by awarding Barcelona a penalty and sending off City’s Martin Demichelis.
He said last Friday: “I don’t think I deserve three games or two games. I said two days after [the Barcelona game] in my press conference that I was wrong in the way I did but I continue to say it was not a penalty and that it decided the game.”
City chose not to appeal against Pellegrini’s punishment and he will have to give his pre-match team talk to his players in the hotel before they leave for the Nou Camp.
If Pellegrini does miss Tuesday’s press conference, he risks being fined by UEFA.