Arsene Wenger to appeal touchline ban that threatens Arsenal’s European hopes

Gunners boss hit with two-match ban ahead of second leg against Udinese

A furious Arsene Wenger will appeal the two-match touchline ban he has been handed by Uefa for communicating with the Arsenal bench during last week’s first leg win against Udinese.

The Frenchman’s suspension is set to start in the vital second leg in Italy on Wednesday night, but Arsenal are set to lodge an appeal that could delay the start of the ban.

That would allow him to take his place on the touchline at the Stadio Friuli, where Arsenal defend a slender 1-0 advantage in their bid to reach the Champions League group stages.

A Uefa statement confirmed on Monday: “Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has received a two-match ban from the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body which will take effect for Wednesday’s play-off game at Udinese Calcio.

“The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body has suspended manager Arsene Wenger from carrying out his duties at Arsenal FC’s next two UEFA competition matches.

“Today’s decision was taken in relation to the Arsenal manager not abiding by the decision of the Control and Disciplinary Body during the English club’s UEFA Champions League play-off game against Udinese Calcio last Tuesday, 16 August. Wenger is therefore suspended for Arsenal’s second-leg match against Udinese in Italy on Wednesday and then the next UEFA competition fixture for which he would be eligible.

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“The Control and Disciplinary Body has also decided to fine Arsenal €10,000 for improper conduct by its officials. An appeal may be lodged against these decisions within three days of the dispatch of the reasoned decision.

“Wenger was serving a one-match suspension, handed down after Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League game at FC Barcelona last season, in the Udinese home match. The UEFA Disciplinary Regulations stipulate that a manager may not communicate with his team during a fixture for which he is suspended and may follow the game from the stands only.”

Wenger believed he had ‘done nothing wrong’ last week, and insisted that Arsenal had sought clarification from Uefa over the terms of his ban before the game at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger sat in the directors’ box at the Emirates, but his coach Boro Primorac was sitting next to him and was talking on a mobile phone throughout the first half.