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What the papers say

Wenger hit with misconduct charge

Arsene Wenger has been hit with a Football Association charge for his actions at the end of Arsenal's draw with Sunderland at the weekend.

• Wenger angered by extra-time
• Blog: Last-minute agony at Sunderland
• Blog: Breathless entertainment at SOL
• Forum: FA right to charge Wenger?

Wenger's Gunners were pegged back by a last-gasp Darren Bent goal at the Stadium of Light, with the Frenchman frustrated that the striker's equaliser came 15 seconds after the allotted four minutes of added time had elapsed.

The Arsenal boss remonstrated with match officials and appeared to prod the fourth official, Martin Atkinson, in the back. The FA has taken a dim view of his actions.

A statement from the FA read: "Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been charged with using insulting and/or abusive language and behaviour amounting to improper conduct. The charges relate to Wenger's conduct towards match officials at the conclusion of Arsenal's match against Sunderland on 18 September.

"Under The FA's new fast-track procedures, Wenger has until Thursday 23 September to respond to the charge and he has been offered a standard sanction of a one-match touchline ban and an £8,000 fine should he accept the charge. If he denies the charge, the case will be heard by a Regulatory Commission."

Wenger could not see why any additional time should have been played beyond the allotted added time.

Speaking after the match, refereed by Phil Dowd who sent of Gunners midfielder Alex Song for two yellow cards, the Arsenal manager lamented: "It was outside the four minutes. I know the referee can give more than four, it's a minimum of four minutes, but in the four minutes nothing happened to justify the extension of the time. But I cannot do anything about that."

Asked about a suggestion he had put his hands on Atkinson, Wenger replied: "Take the pictures and look at it. I complain to nobody, especially not to you."

Last season, Wenger received an apology from referees chief Keith Hackett over his dismissal during the Gunners' 2-1 loss to Manchester United during August 2009.

Wenger was sent to the stands by referee Mike Dean in the dying moments at Old Trafford on the advice of fourth official Lee Probert after the Arsenal manager kicked a water bottle following a disallowed goal which would have been a last-minute equaliser.

After his sending off, Wenger was unaware of where to go and firstly moved to the Arsenal dugout, then the main stand before being ushered along the touchline to the tunnel.


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