Wenger accepts charge of improper conduct

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has accepted a charge of improper conduct and an £8,000 fine by the Football Association following his actions at the end of the Barclays Premier League match with Sunderland on Saturday.

He will serve a one-match touchline ban at tonight's Carling Cup third-round clash at Tottenham.

The Gunners boss was fuming after his side conceded a dramatic equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time at the Stadium of Light, which denied them the chance to go top of the table.

Wenger appeared to sarcastically pat fourth official Martin Atkinson on the back as Bent's goal came some 15 seconds after the allotted four minutes which had been displayed, and was also critical in his post-match comments.

A statement on www.thefa.com read: "Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted a charge of using insulting and/or abusive language and behaviour amounting to improper conduct.

"Wenger has accepted the standard sanction of an £8,000 fine and a one-match touchline ban which will be served with immediate effect at Arsenal's League Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur this evening (Tuesday).

"The charge related to Wenger's conduct towards match officials at the conclusion of Arsenal's match against Sunderland on 18 September."

Wenger's main gripe was the Gunners boss could not see why any additional time should have been played.

Speaking after the match - refereed by Phil Dowd, who sent off Arsenal midfielder Alex Song for two yellow cards - the Arsenal manager lamented: "It was outside the four minutes.

"I know the referee can give more than four, it's a minimum of four minutes, but in the four minutes nothing happened to justify the extension of the time.

"But I cannot do anything about that."

Wenger added: "If you have a watch, you can control. It's as simple as that."

Asked about a suggestion he had put his hands on Atkinson, Wenger replied: "Take the pictures and look at it.

"I complain to nobody, especially not to you."

Last season, Wenger received an apology from referees' chief Keith Hackett over his dismissal during the Gunners' 2-1 loss to Manchester United during August 2009.

Wenger was sent to the stands by referee Mike Dean in the dying moments at Old Trafford on the advice of fourth official Lee Probert after the Arsenal manager kicked a water bottle following a disallowed goal which would have been a last-minute equaliser.

After his sending-off, Wenger was unaware of where to go and firstly moved to the Arsenal dugout, then the main stand before being ushered along the touchline to the tunnel.

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