Football

'Wenger must be severely punished'

Ex-EPL referees want tough action on Arsenal boss for pushing fourth official

Arsene Wenger's shove on fourth official Anthony Taylor during his side's 2-1 win over Burnley on Sunday has angered former referees, who believe he should be severely punished.

Ejected from the touchline by referee Jon Moss after remonstrating over the awarding of an injury-time penalty to the Clarets, Wenger then pushed Taylor as he attempted to watch the rest of the contest from the end of the tunnel.

Burnley scored from the spot to equalise, but Alexis Sanchez went on to score the winner - also through the spot - to ensure Arsenal took home the three points.

Wenger is likely to face an English Football Association charge, with a fine and a touchline ban among his possible punishments.

Former head of English Premier League referees Keith Hackett told The Daily Telegraph that he wants to see Wenger get more than just a touchline ban.

He said: "What I would like to see as an absolute minimum is a six-game ban - but a far more severe punishment than simply being banished from the touchline.

NO CONTACT

"Instead, I would like to see Wenger barred from any contact with his team once inside the stadium. Uefa regularly imposes this sanction and I feel it has far more impact than a manager simply being unable to stand in the technical area.

"Under the Uefa regulations, you sit alongside a delegate and can have no contact once the players are off the team coach.

"You are powerless from that moment on. Managers hate it, but it acts as an effective deterrent."

Wenger has since apologised for the incident but former EPL referee Graham Poll feels that the Frenchman must face the music.

Poll wrote in the Daily Mail: "Arsene Wenger must surely face a lengthy touchline ban after he inexplicably went berserk and shoved fourth official Anthony Taylor.

"Wenger was asked to leave the technical area, which the Arsenal manager reluctantly did but then tried staying in the tunnel, something he is not permitted to do. Taylor advised him to move, at which point Wenger lost it and appeared to shove the official.

"Wenger and his team have benefited from plenty of 'close calls' by officials this season and he should have remembered that and stayed calm."

SORRY

Asked after the match about the incident, Wenger appeared contrite. He said: "I regret everything. I should have shut up, gone in and gone home. I apologise for that.

"Look, it was nothing bad. I said something that you hear every day in football. Overall nine times out of 10, you are not sent to the stand for that.

"If I am, I am, and I should have shut up completely. I was quite calm the whole game, more than usual, but just (not) in the last two or three minutes."

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka will miss the next four league games after picking up his second red card of the season - and his ninth for club and country since 2014. - WIRE SERVICES

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