Wenger gets 12 match touchline ban

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The Independent Online

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been suspended from the touchline for 12 matches and fined four weeks' wages for allegedly pushing an official after a match.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been suspended from the touchline for 12 matches and fined four weeks' wages for allegedly pushing an official after a match.

The French manager confronted fourth official Paul Taylor near the Arsenal locker room after a game on August 19 in which Patrick Viera was red-carded.

The Football Association brought charges of physical intimidation and threatening behaviour days later.

The hearing included testimony from Wenger, who denied the charges, Taylor and Sunderland player Darren Williams

"Mr Wenger insisted to the commission his behaviour was aimed at preventing a far worse incident involving the Sunderland player (Williams) and Arsenal's Thierry Henry," FA executive director David Davies said.

"He also questioned several points in the evidence presented to the commission.

"Mr Wenger's sentence is in line with the minimum punishment contained in the new disciplinary guidelines introduced this season and agreed by the FA Premier League, the Football League and the FA board of directors.

"The Professional Footballers' Association and League Managers' Association also supported the guidelines."

The suspension will begin October 30.

The punishment is the minimum under new disciplinary guidelines introduced this season. A repeat offence calls for a one-year touchline ban.

Wenger has been mentioned as a leading candidate to replace Kevin Keegan as England coach.

FA guidelines about jostling or intimidating officials, which also relate to players, state there will be a minimum one-year touchline ban for any repetition of the offence.

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