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Pellegrini handed touchline ban

28 February 2014 16:10

UEFA have handed Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini a three-match touchline ban for his comments about referee Jonas Eriksson.

Following City's 2-0 UEFA Champions League defeat to Barcelona last week, Pellegrini was critical of Eriksson's performance after he gave the Spanish champions a second-half penalty for a Martin Demichelis foul on the edge of the area.

Pellegrini claimed the official "was not impartial", stating it was "not a good idea" to put a Swedish referee in charge of such a high-profile game while also suggesting Eriksson was trying to make amends for a decision given against Barca in their Champions League quarter-final clash with Milan in 2012.

Despite Pellegrini apologising for his comments, explaining he was "angry" and "frustrated", UEFA have opted to charge the Chilean with a "violation of the general principles of conduct".

European football's governing body announced the punishment, which will see one match of the 60-year-old's three-game ban suspended for two years, on Friday.

The suspension means Pellegrini will be absent from the dugout for his side's crucial second-leg encounter at Camp Nou next month.

A UEFA statement read: "UEFA's Control and Disciplinary Body has suspended Manchester City FC manager Manuel Pellegrini for three UEFA competition matches, one of which is under probation for two years.

"As a result, the City manager will be banned for his team's round of 16 second leg against Barcelona in Spain on 12 March.

"This means that Pellegrini may follow the game from the stands only; he may not enter the dressing room, tunnel or technical area before or during the match; and he may not communicate directly or indirectly with his players and/or technical staff during the game (Article 62(1) DR)."

UEFA also confirmed Pellegrini has the right to appeal the decision, but it is as yet unclear whether he will do so.

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