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Wenger denies UEFA charge

Arsene Wenger has denied any wrongdoing and labelled UEFA a "dictatorship" after being charged with improper conduct following Arsenal's Champions League exit.

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Wenger and Samir Nasri were charged for using "inappropriate language" towards Swiss referee Massimo Busacca at the end of the 3-1 defeat at Barcelona that saw Arsenal defeated 4-3 on aggregate.

Busacca caused controversy when issuing Robin van Persie with a second yellow card for kicking the ball away just one second after the whistle for offside. Van Persie, who labelled the referee "a joke", said he did not hear the whistle.

"I deny completely any charge," Wenger said. "I do not understand where that comes from. It is a shame for me that the referee took the decision to send Robin van Persie off. It was the wrong decision.

"The first leg was a fantastic advert for football and the second game has been destroyed. People now will only remember the sending off. It would be good for UEFA to show some humility, to apologise for what has happened, not charge people who have done nothing wrong."

He added: "Who has been punished is Arsenal Football Club. We are out of the Champions League - we have lost one of our big ambitions. We have been punished with a lot of damages and, on top of that, we have to say sorry to UEFA.

"We have done nothing wrong. They organised the competition; they named the referees who come to the games.

"When you have a football game of that stature, you cannot come out with decisions like that and show a lot of arrogance on top of that. We can all understand that we can make wrong decisions, but after that it becomes dictatorship. It's not any more common sense."

Wenger was said to have sworn at Busacca - and the referee has also been accused of using strong words - but the Gunners boss refused to reveal the content of the discussions.

"I will keep that for UEFA if they really want to know because I will have some interesting statements to make about some statements made by people who were not supposed to say what they said," he said.

"You can check any statement I made on television after the game. If I have done anything wrong I am ready to be charged.

"As for what is said in the tunnel, if you can get only one thing where I have come out on what has been said against me or against the referee during my 15 years in England, I will pay for you to have a big holiday."

Wenger confronted the referee in the tunnel after the match. The disciplinary case will be heard by UEFA on March 17.


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