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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 23 January 2019

Arsenal's Unai Emery charged with improper conduct over water bottle kick

Manager apologises over his action during 1-1 draw against Brighton, explaining it was not intentional

Arsenal manager Unai Emery was not a happy man after their 1-1 Premier League draw against Brighton. Peter Nicholls / Reuters
Arsenal manager Unai Emery was not a happy man after their 1-1 Premier League draw against Brighton. Peter Nicholls / Reuters

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been charged with improper conduct by the English Football Association after kicking a water bottle into the crowd during the 1-1 Premier League draw at Brighton on Boxing Day.

An FA spokesman said on Thursday: "Arsenal manager Unai Emery has been charged following the game against Brighton yesterday [26 December 2018].

"It is alleged his action of kicking a water bottle during the fixture amounts to improper conduct. He has until 6pm [10pm UAE] on 2 January 2019 to respond to the charge," the FA spokesman added.

Spanish manager Emery went to speak to the home supporter nearest where the bottle landed immediately after the incident and again at full time at the Amex Stadium.

Emery, speaking on Thursday before the FA's announcement and ahead of Arsenal's trip to league leaders Liverpool this weekend, said he hoped his apology would draw a line under the incident.

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"I say yesterday my apologies, I kicked the bottle in frustration but not for the supporter, I kicked for me and it went near to the supporter and I said to them my apologies. There is not another communication.

"I repeat today my apologies for my individual action but I kick the bottle because it is near me, but not because it is my intention."

Emery, while hoping the matter was done and dusted, added he would respect any decision taken by the FA.

"I hope so, yes," he replied when asked whether his apology should close the book on the incident.

"But I have to respect the decision because it is a circumstance of my action but not another intention from me with the supporter. I say to them my apology," the 47 year old added.

Updated: December 27, 2018 10:01 PM

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