Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger faces the prospect of a touchline ban in Arsenal’s first game in the UEFA Champions League Knock-out stages. Mr Wenger was sent off against Sevilla in November, and will be sitting in the stands in Arsenal’s last Group H game against Steaua Bucharest. The Arsenal manager was sent off at the Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium as he up roared in protest of the Sevilla players’ play-acting. Just a normal touchline ban yes? No. Upon being sent off, Mr Wenger stood by his players and remained by the tunnel just so he could go down with his sinking ship. Despite the efforts of the fourth official, Reinold Wiedemeijer, who tried to usher Mr Wenger away from the game – Arsene Wenger refused. This refusal has made the offense more severe, and thus he is facing a more extreme ban.
Wenger called referee Eric Braamhaar “naive” and stated that Wiedemeijer’s actions as “absolutely shocking”. Wenger also stated that there was no way for him to get out, as the crowds were to packed in for him to be escorted.
UEFA still await reports from that of Wiedemeijer. However, UEFA’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, William Gaillard offered some clarification to the matter:
He related the matter back to Barcelona’s Frank Rijkaard’s sending off – “Rijkaard went upstairs into the stands after being sent off, that’s the rule,”
“If you are expelled from the technical area then you have to leave. The case concerning Arsene Wenger will be looked at again but the rules are quite clear on this.”
This is not the only time we have seen Mr Wenger’s passion has been punished. Arsene Wenger has faced multiple bans before for merely stating his opinion or for extroverting his passion of the Gunners. Enoughs Enough UEFA, give the man a break!