Uefa open disciplinary proceedings against Arsene Wenger

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The Independent Football

Arsene Wenger today revealed his surprise after UEFA opened formal disciplinary proceedings against the Arsenal manager for an apparent breach of the terms of a Champions League touchline ban.

The Gunners boss passed messages to the coaching staff at the Emirates Stadium against Udinese on Tuesday night before being warned not to at half-time by UEFA delegates.

However, Arsenal maintain officials from Europe's governing body had told them Wenger would be permitted to relay instructions to assistant manager Pat Rice through first-team coach Boro Primorac, who was in telephone contact with the Arsenal bench.

UEFA will conclude their investigations on Monday, with Wenger likely to receive a fine rather than another ban ahead of the second leg of the play-off in Italy next Wednesday.

Wenger, though, maintains UEFA regulations need clarity.

"I am completely surprised, but we are completely open to any enquiry from UEFA. We have nothing to hide and I don't think we have done anything wrong," he said.

"It is a little bit (frustrating). Frankly, you never know what a manager's ban is.

"I did not communicate with the bench. I watched the game from the directors' box and that was quite enjoyable - if they want to make an enquiry, we have nothing against that.

"They gave us the rules and we observed, strictly, what they told us."

Article 70 of UEFA's disciplinary regulations state that any banned manager may sit in the stands, but "may not enter the dressing room, tunnel or technical area before or during the match, nor may he communicate with his team".

Wenger could well also be fined for failing to fulfil his media commitments by not giving a post-match press conference.

The Gunners boss, though, remains defiant.

He added: "I don't know why the rules changed from what they told us before. I didn't go to the dressing room, but 15 minutes after the game you can talk to the media.

"If you cannot go down to the dressing room, you cannot go to the media.

"The rules were not really clear - we tried to get them from UEFA before the game and we behaved according to what they told us."

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