x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Wenger charged with improper conduct

Some good news for Arsenal, though, as injury to Fabregas not as bad as first feared.

Arsene Wenger speaks to Martin Atkinson, the fourth official, after Sunderland's late goal.
Arsene Wenger speaks to Martin Atkinson, the fourth official, after Sunderland's late goal.

Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, was last night charged with improper conduct by the English Football Association (FA) following his actions at the end of Saturday's Premier League match against Sunderland. Wenger was enraged after his side conceded a dramatic equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the Stadium of Light, which denied them the chance to go top of the table. Wenger appeared to sarcastically pat Martin Atkinson, the fourth official, on the back as Darren Bent's goal came 15 seconds after the allotted four minutes. The Gunners manager could accept the charge and a one-match touchline ban and an £8,000 (Dh45,748) fine under the FA's new fast-track disciplinary procedures. A statement on the FA's official website 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 September 18. "Under the FA's new fast-track procedures, Wenger has until Thursday, September 23 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. Speaking after the match, refereed by Phil Dowd, who sent off Alex Song, the Gunners midfielder, for two yellow cards, the Arsenal manager saidd: "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. Wenger added: "If you have a watch, you can control. It's as simple as that. I complain to nobody, especially not to you [the media]." Meanwhile, Cesc Fabregas, the Arsenal captain, says he hopes he will be back in action in two weeks after being forced out of the Sunderland game with a hamstring injury. The Spain midfielder had a scan yesterday and said on his Twitter page that there is "good news on my injury. I have some fluid but nothing bad in the muscle. I hope i can be playing in 2 weeks".