Arsene Wenger will be absent from the dugout for Arsenal's upcoming matches against Nottingham Forest, Chelsea and Bournemouth after being handed a three-game touchline ban by the Football Association (FA).
The agitated Frenchman will also have to pay a fine totaling £40,000 ($54,225) after being charged by the governing body for his conduct in the match officials' changing room following a 1-1 Premier League draw at West Bromwich Albion on New Year's Eve.
Wenger, taking charge of a record 811th game, had been incensed by a contentious late penalty decision given against defender Calum Chambers for handball that cost his side all three points at The Hawthorns and was said to have angrily confronted referee Mike Dean.
According to an official release from the FA on Friday (5 January), the 68-year-old - who initially insisted that he would "100%" contest the charge - admitted that his language or behaviour was "abusive, improper and questioned the integrity of the match referee".
Assistant Steve Bould will now be the leading presence on the touchline for Sunday's FA Cup third round tie against Championship side Nottingham Forest at the City Ground and the away leg of Arsenal's Carabao Cup semi-final meeting with Chelsea on Wednesday in addition to next weekend's top-flight trip to Bournemouth.
Things could yet get worse for Wenger, who was yesterday asked by the FA for his observations following comments made regarding refereeing decisions both before and after Wednesday's league clash with Chelsea.
Wenger suggested before the match that supposed poor calls made in games against Stoke City, Watford, Manchester City and West Brom represented a "concerning coincidence" and claimed that Dean "saw what he wanted to see".
After the engrossing 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium, he branded Anthony Taylor's decision to award Chelsea a penalty for Hector Bellerin's foul on Eden Hazard as "farcical" and also said in his post-match press conference that "the referees get away with you, with the English press, always, no matter what they do". He believes Hazard should have been cautioned for simulation.
Wenger, who was charged with misconduct, received a four-game touchline suspension and fined £25,000 after his altercation with fourth official Taylor at the end of Arsenal's last-gasp defeat of Burnley in January 2017, was given until 18.00 GMT on Tuesday 9 January to respond to that separate request.
"From what I've heard and seen in tunnels and dressing rooms down the years, I'm surprised and shocked to be charged," Wenger, who did not request a personal hearing to the first charge, said in a press conference this morning, per The Telegraph. "I maintain what I said in the press conference, 100%.
"I have nothing to change in that. Nothing has changed. I've been in England for 21 years and I've tried to serve this game with honesty, integrity and when I have something to say, I say it. On that front, nothing will change. Never.
"I think I've contributed a lot to give referees a great opportunity to be at their best because I've had a huge influence on whether they became professional or not. I believe I've had more influence on that and a positive one too. That's why I can also be demanding and what I want from them is to be at the top. I'm quite surprised that that is shocking."