Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been given a four-match touchline ban and fined £25,000 by The Football Association after being found guilty of misconduct and improper conduct during the 2-1 Premier League win over Burnley. The 67-year-old was sent from the technical area by referee Jon Moss in stoppage time at The Emirates Stadium after using abusive and insulting language, before pushing fourth official Anthony Taylor.
The former Monaco boss was aggrieved at the decision to award the Clarets a penalty in added-on time after Francis Coquelin tripped Ashley Barnes, leading to him being sent to the stands. Wenger attempted to watch the remainder of the game, during which time Alexis Sanchez netted a winning penalty in the 98th minute, and manhandled Taylor during an argument with the official.
Wenger did apologise for his actions but the severity of both incidents has landed the Arsenal coach in hot water with the authorities. The three-time Premier League winner demanded a personal hearing in-front of The FA's Independent Regulatory Commission, but was found to have committed both offences leading to a heavy punishment.
An FA statement read: "It was alleged that in or around the 92nd minute, he used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official. It was further alleged that following his dismissal from the technical area, his behaviour in remaining in the tunnel area and making physical contact with the fourth official amounted to improper conduct."
The four-game ban from the dugout will start for the FA Cup fourth-round tie at Southampton, before the Premier League games at home to Watford and Hull City; which sandwich the trip to leaders Chelsea on 4 February. Wenger's absence is accentuated by the loss of midfielder Granit Xhaka for the same period of time after his second domestic dismissal of the campaign against Burnley.
Prior to Wenger being reprimanded, The Evening Standard had understood that the Arsenal boss had labelled referee Moss a "cheat" – though The FA have not yet disclosed the full dialogue between himself and the officiating team.