Top referee calls for the FA to “throw the book” at Arsene Wenger

Wenger arguing Justarsenal.comMost Arsenal fans would have been shocked by Arsene Wenger’s behaviour towards the end of yesterday’s match against Burnley, where he was seen manhandling the 4th official and ignoring his instructions to leave the players tunnel. Let’s be honest we usually complain that he just sits in his seat playing with his zipper rather than get emotionally involved with the actions on the pitch, except for the occasional thrown water bottle!

So he is hardly known as a trouble-maker when it comes to referees decisions and he surely knows that any overt aggression to the officials will always be punished by the authorities. According to the former head of Premier League referees Keith Hackett, Wenger should get the most severe punishment available for his unacceptable actions, which is to have absolutely no contact with his team for six full games.

Hackett said in the Telegraph: “For the sake of every official at every level of the game the FA must throw the book at Arsene Wenger after his disgraceful behaviour on Sunday.

“They need to send out a strong, clear message – officials are sacrosanct and if you lay hands on them you will pay a heavy price.

“A one or two match touchline ban just won’t cut it on this occasion. A slap on the wrist would tell every Sunday morning player that it’s OK to abuse or physically assault officials.

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

“The reason I say that is a touchline ban often makes very little difference. In that scenario the manager sits up in the stands – often with a better view of the action – and communicates with his bench via mobile phone or messenger. They can go into the dressing room at half time and make the key decisions. 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.”

I agree that it does not look good to the players and young fans watching, and can give the impression that it is okay to abuse the officials, but is a complete six game ban a bit harsh, considering he is not a serial offender?



  1. Budd says:

    Wenger has only himself to blame. Let’s see what gives. At Chelsea he won’t be on the bench anyway.

    1. Kostafi says:

      This is nothing short of abuse of privilege. An ex ref with a column in one of the leading dailies using his position to attempt to sway the FA. If he feels that strongly, he should write a letter to the FA. If that was how criminality and sentencing worked in this country- the streets will be empty and the prisons overflowing into other countries!
      Wenger has many flaws, but his history with match officials in 20 years is exemplary! Did he step out of line? Yes- were his actions extreme? no. He refused a directive to leave and shoved the fourth official around as the match had begun and he actually had a job to do. It’s inexcusable but to call for the hanging of a pickpocket is draconian!

      1. Budd says:

        I am sick enough blaming other when the issue is right in front of us. Is 6 games ban insane? Of course it is! No contact with the team? This is even more stupid. But we can’t ask FA to sideline Klopp or Mourinho (OK, i give you this one, Mourinho should be banned just for fun) for half a season and close the eye when it is about us. Is called hypocrisy.
        Was Wenger out of line? You lot know damn well he was and now he is at the FA mercy.

  2. Zimbo gunner says:

    It was a gentle push, these refs are acting like babies now… A couple games in the stands is more than enough punishment for what he did. Happy to see some passion from Wenger instead of just sitting there on the bench messing around with his coat.

    1. bran99 says:

      passion could be him talking tactics to players during the match and motivating them, but he is clueless that’s why he’s always quarreling with officials whenever things don’t go his way

  3. Jansen says:

    Most know I don’t believe Wenger is the man to take us to the next level. In fact I think this should be his last season in charge. Having said that:

    I think there is way too much made of this. Wenger is always exemplary in his touchline behavior and this supposed pushing of the 4th official wasn’t exactly an act of great aggression.

    Sure it sounds nice to talk about what example he would set to others, but was the 4th official even close to falling? Who was invading who’s space?

    Sure Wenger will get, and should get some form of punishment but 6 games? No contact in the stadium? Give me a break.

    On a different note, Wenger being banned from the touchline for a number of games is not exactly the same punishment as Mourinho, Klopp or Pep being banned. Wenger is not exactly known for his in-game active management style.

    Wenger probably thought our season was over when we lost the lead and went on tile a little bit, I for one liked the fact that he showed he cared.

    We are talking about, IMO, the most respected manager in the game when it comes to behavior, let’s not make an eye poking Mourinho about this little push.

    Wenger: You got my support on this one 100%.

  4. Wayne Barker says:

    These refs have been incompetent for the whole season. I have seen some balant penalties not given, some clear cut goals ruled out. This has been a joke season for the refs. So 6 match ban is ridiculous .

    Having said that what Wenger did was wrong, trust me if that was jose we arsenal fans would have asked fir his head. So let us nit be hypocrites. I hope Wenger receives a ban (not for 6 matches) . It’s already very much in open that arsenal have been receiving the most favourable decisions. I don’t want a situation where refs are hesitant to give decisions in our favour .

    1. bran99 says:

      “These refs have been incompetent for the whole season. I have seen some balant penalties not given, some clear cut goals ruled out. This has been a joke season for the refs. So 6 match ban is ridiculous”

      I agree, refs should be banned too, like for 3 or 6 matches so that when they spoil a match they know they are facing the axe for sometime, with may be a fine on top of it

  5. AndersS says:

    Wenger lost his cool, and must accept some punishment, but I also feel it is wrong that Graham Poll can use the media to lobby for a very harsh punishment.

    But I can’t help wishing Wenger would show more of that temperament, when our players aren’t working hard enough or don’t seem 100% motivated from the start.

  6. PRINCE AFZ says:

    Arsene got it all wrong for laying his hand on the official in the first place. He was lucky to escape punishment when he shove Mourihno few years ago. He needs to control his feelings.

  7. Incarnate says:

    But the official touched him first, if Wenger was refusing his instructions to leave the dugout, I’m sure the rules would suggest he gets a steward to escort him down the tunnel not lay his hands on him in the first place.

  8. stubill says:

    First off all, for Hackett to think Wengers actions have any impact on lower or non league teams is ridiculous, they will act as they want, when they want.

    Secondly, Wenger does deserve a touchline ban and a fine, I agree a 3 match ban would suffice, the only fly in the ointment is, there are reports coming out that Wenger called the ref’ “a cheat”, if this is the case they will come down on him like a ton of bricks, expect a 10 match ban and fine. That’s obviously if he did call him a cheat.

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