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Arsene Wenger Is Guilty As Charged

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been given a three-match touchline ban and fined £40,000 for his ‘abusive’ behaviour in the referee’s changing room after Sunday’s game against West Brom.

The Football Association said Wenger admitted “his language and behaviour was abusive, improper and questioned the integrity” of referee Mike Dean.

The Frenchman was angered by the award of an 89th-minute penalty for handball against Arsenal’s Calum Chambers.

Wenger will serve the first game of his punishment on Sunday in the FA Cup third-round tie at Nottingham Forest.

He will also be confined to the stands for the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final at Chelsea and the visit to Bournemouth in the Premier League.

At his news conference earlier on Friday, the Arsenal boss said he served football with “honesty and integrity”.

“From what I’ve heard and seen in tunnels and dressing rooms down the years, I’m surprised and shocked to be charged,” he said.

In a separate case, Wenger has been asked to respond to the FA about comments he made about refereeing decisions both before and after Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea in the league.

A frustrated Wenger called decisions made against Arsenal a “concerning coincidence”.

Part of his anger stemmed from a penalty the away side won when Eden Hazard was deemed to have been fouled by Hector Bellerin by referee Anthony Taylor – a decision branded “farcical”.

The FA wants his explanation of these comments by 18:00 GMT on Tuesday, 9 January.

“I have been asked [to respond] and I maintain what I said, 100%,” Wenger added. “Nothing has changed. I try to serve this game with honesty and integrity and when I have something to say, I say it.

“I respect everyone’s opinion. I feel it was a yellow card for Hazard. I have the right to have an opinion.”

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