Pellegrini banned for three European games for ‘verbally assaulting’ referee in CL match

Johannesburg, Mar 1: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has reportedly been banned for three matches with one suspended for now, following his verbal assault on a referee in a recent Champions League match.

Pellegrini disagreed with the penalty decision in City’s 2-0 home defeat to Barcelona in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, in which Lionel Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Martin Demichelis had been sent off for fouling him.

According to Sport24, European football’s governing body UEFA, which banned Pellegrini for three European games and one under probation for two years, said that the ‘sanction is due to the coach’s press statements and violation of the general principles of conduct’.

However, the body said that the decision is open to appeal.

The report mentioned Pellegrini argued that foul had started outside the penalty area and that City midfielder Jesus Navas had been impeded by Sergio Busquets in the build-up to the incident, adding that he also accused the referee of being ‘not impartial’ and suggested that he should not have been put in charge of the game.

Pellegrini will be forced to follow the return leg at the Camp Nou on March 12 from the stands, and will not be allowed into the dressing room before the game either, the report added. (ANI)