Thursday 23 January 2020

Guardiola faces three-match ban over referee confrontation

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Reuters
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. Photo: Reuters

James Ducker

Pep Guardiola is sweating over the prospect of a three-match touchline ban after he was charged with improper conduct by Uefa following his sending-off at half-time of Manchester City's Champions League exit at Liverpool.

The Spaniard will receive an automatic one-match ban for his dismissal but the punishment could be extended to include a further two games if he is found to have verbally abused or insulted referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz.

Uefa's control, ethics and disciplinary body is due to hear the case on May 31, with the City coach under threat of having to watch half of his side's six Champions League group stage games next season from the stands.

Guardiola was sent off for remonstrating angrily with Lahoz at the end of the first half over the Spanish official's decision to incorrectly rule out a goal by Leroy Sane for offside. He watched the second period from the stands next to adviser, Manel Estiarte.

Guardiola was also charged by Uefa with breaching rules that prevents managers who have been sent off from communicating with their bench amid suggestions the Catalan relayed instructions to staff during the second half.

Carles Planchart, City's performance analyst, was spotted on television at the top of the steps a short distance behind where Guardiola was sitting shortly after the hour mark when the manager appeared to shout something in his colleague's direction. Moments later, in the 66th minute, Sergio Aguero came on as a substitute. Guardiola is likely to escape with a warning if found guilty of communicating with his bench.

Liverpool could also be punished by Uefa after they were charged over their fans throwing objects and setting off fireworks inside the Etihad.

© Daily Telegraph, London

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