Wenger waits on UEFA verdict

17 August 2011 05:00

Arsene Wenger will find out by Thursday evening whether he will be charged by UEFA for breaching the conditions of his touchline ban by making contact with the Arsenal bench during Tuesday's 1-0 win over Udinese.

Wenger watched the Champions League play-off first leg from the stands because of the one-game ban he received as a result of his criticism of Swiss referee Massimo Busacca after last year's controversial defeat in Barcelona.

Article 70 of UEFA's disciplinary regulations state any banned manager may sit in the stands, but 'may not enter the dressing room, tunnel or technical area before or during the match, nor may he communicate with his team'. However, Wenger appeared to break that rule after he was pictured communicating to assistant Pat Rice on the touchline via first-team coach Boro Primorac.

Any fine that could be imposed on Wenger will depend on whether the referee or match delegate claim the Frenchman broke the rules in their official reports, which have to be in 48 hours after the match.

It is likely that those reports will be delivered on Thursday. As well as being charged for communicating with the bench, it looks certain the 60-year-old will be fined for failing to fulfil his media commitments by not giving a post-match press conference.

Wenger cut a frustrated and sometimes anxious figure from high up as Arsenal laboured to a narrow win courtesy of Theo Walcott's fourth minute strike.

The England winger was guilty of missing two more decent chances, though, and the Gunners now have to protect a slender lead in Udine next Wednesday against a dangerous Italian side.

And Walcott admits he was taken aback at the Serie A side's strength at times, but is still confident the Londoners will qualify for the Champions League group stages.

"Udinese are very good - technically very strong, quick and at times I think they taught us a bit of a lesson," he said. "They are very strong in midfield but it is a good result. We have players to come back and they will be under more pressure because they have to come at us more.

"We didn't want to commit too many bodies forward because we know how dangerous they are as a counter-attacking team. So we were very tight as a defence and that is a positive - two clean sheets in two games is great."

Source: PA

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