UEFA suspends Arsène Wenger for two additional matches

"I was on my mobile? I don't know; you will have to ask somebody else; I did not see it."

According to Arsenal's official website, UEFA have given manager Arsène Wenger a two-match ban for communicating with his staff during the first leg of Arsenal's Champions League qualifier against Serie A side Udinese. According to the post, Arsenal will appeal the decision.

UPDATE: Arsenal have, indeed, appealed the decision, and are none too happy about things, according to the Guardian.

In addition to the ban, schoolmarm UEFA are fining Arsenal:

"The Control and Disciplinary Body has also decided to fine Arsenal €10,000 for improper conduct by its officials. An appeal may be lodged against these decisions within three days of the dispatch of the reasoned decision.

"Wenger was serving a one-match suspension, handed down after Arsenal's UEFA Champions League game at FC Barcelona last season, in the Udinese home match. The UEFA Disciplinary Regulations stipulate that a manager may not communicate with his team during a fixture for which he is suspended and may follow the game from the stands only."

This all seems fairly silly, frankly. Whatever evidence UEFA has that Wenger was communicating illegally must be solid for them to decide to ban him further, but the man himself pointed out earlier last week that the rules are not entirely clear:

"Of course we will [appeal] because I don’t know why the rules changed from what they told us before.

"I am completely surprised but we are open to any enquiry from Uefa. We have nothing to hide and I don’t think we have done anything wrong.

When rules are this unclear, they're usually not very good rules. Hopefully the appeal process straightens this all out, or else Gaffer Pat Rice the Undefeated will have to make another appearance on the touchline and lay everyone to waste utterly with lots of shouting.

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