Thursday, December 13, 2018

Wenger asked by FA to explain referee comments

SoccerNews in English Premier League 4 Jan 2018


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been asked by the Football Association (FA) to explain comments he made to the media on two separate occasions.

Wenger is already facing an FA charge for confronting the match officials following Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with West Brom on December 31, although the Frenchman says he intends to contest the decision.

After referee Mike Dean controversially awarded a late penalty to West Brom for a handball against Calum Chambers, Wenger attacked the standard of refereeing in the Premier League, comparing it to the “dark ages”.

Wenger was again unhappy with a penalty decision on Wednesday, when Anthony Taylor awarded a spot-kick after Hector Bellerin clumsily challenged Eden Hazard in the box during a 2-2 draw with Chelsea.

“It was a good game and overall I believe it could have gone both ways,” he told Sky Sports. “We were first on the scoresheet and after that we again got a farcical decision.

“It’s all opinions. But when your opinions go the same way, statistically, what is repeated is not a coincidence.”

In his post-match press conference, Wenger again described the penalty award for Bellerin’s tackle on Hazard as “farcical”.

The Arsenal boss was also critical of decisions made in Tottenham’s win at Swansea City on Tuesday, when Fernando Llorente scored from an offside position and Spurs centre-back Davinson Sanchez was arguably lucky not to be dismissed.

“The referees get away with you, with the English press, always no matter what they do,” a frustrated Wenger said. “You have watched the game last night. You couldn’t read a line about it today.

“Referee decisions influence the game. No? Tottenham against Swansea. But nobody talks about it. So that means nothing will change.”

Wenger has been given until 18:00 GMT on Tuesday January 9 to respond to the FA’s request, with his existing charge requiring a response by the same time on Friday.


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