x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Arsene Wenger to Uefa: Show some humility

The Arsenal manager denies bad-mouthing Massimo Busacca, the Swiss referee, at the end of their Champions League round of 16 defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

LONDON // Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, said Uefa should "show some humility" after he was charged with improper conduct following the Champions League defeat by Barcelona.

Wenger and Samir Nasri, the midfielder, were charged with using "inappropriate language" towards Massimo Busacca, the Swiss referee, at the end of the match at the Nou Camp which Arsenal lost 3-1 to go out 4-3 on aggregate.

They were complaining about the sending-off of Arsenal Robin van Persie, the striker, who was shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball away after the whistle had sounded for an off side decision.

"I deny completely any charge. I do not understand where that comes from," Wenger told a news conference ahead of Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against Manchester United.

"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," added Wenger, who followed Busacca down the tunnel to discuss the decision.

"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 went on to say: "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. ... We can all understand that we can make wrong decisions, but after that it becomes dictatorship. It's not any more common sense."

Wenger and Nasri's cases will be heard by Uefa on March 17.