Skip to main content

Man City's Manuel Pellegrini banned three games for referee comments

updated 1:33 PM EST, Fri February 28, 2014
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini received a three-game ban from UEFA for criticizing a referee.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini received a three-game ban from UEFA for criticizing a referee.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini receives a three-game ban from UEFA
  • Pellegrini criticized the Swedish referee after his team lost 2-0 to Barcelona earlier this month
  • Unless he wins an appeal, Pellegrini misses the return leg in Barcelona on March 12
  • City meets lowly Sunderland in England's League Cup final Sunday

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Even after apologizing for criticizing a referee, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini wasn't let off the hook by UEFA.

Pellegrini was banned for three games by football's European governing body, a decision which rules him out of the second leg of City's Champions League round-of-16 encounter at Barcelona on March 12.

"Pellegrini may follow the game from the stands only; he may not enter the dressing room, tunnel or technical area before or during the match; and he may not communicate directly or indirectly with his players and/or technical staff during the game," UEFA said on its website.

He is on "probation" for two years for one of the matches, with Pellegrini having the right to appeal Friday's ruling.

Barcelona won the first leg in Manchester 2-0 on February 18 and the Chilean was unhappy that a free kick wasn't awarded to his side in a sequence which resulted in a penalty for Barcelona and City's defender Martin Demichelis being sent off.

He said the Swedish referee, Jonas Eriksson, was "not impartial to both teams" and added that an official from the Scandinavian nation should not have been chosen in the first place.

"I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in charge of such an important match, especially a referee who has made an important mistake against Barcelona in a previous match," he told reporters.

"A big game with two important teams, that kind of game needs a referee with more experience."

Pellegrini said sorry three days after the opening leg.

"The thing I said in that moment doesn't mean what I think," Pellegrini commented. "I am sure this is a good referee because UEFA are always evaluating all the referees and if he is not a good referee, he is not in the UEFA staff."

Both Manchester City and Barcelona face crucial matches on Sunday before the second leg takes place.

City, chasing a quadruple, can win its first trophy of the season when it meets lowly Sunderland in England's League Cup final.

Barcelona, meanwhile, hosts Almeria having dropped three points behind league leader Real Madrid in La Liga.

Read: Barcelona teaches City a lesson

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
updated 8:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
updated 9:18 AM EDT, Fri May 9, 2014
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:03 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
updated 5:31 AM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT