Banished to the stands: Manuel Pellegrini slapped with two-match UEFA ban following Barcelona ref rant

Manuel Pellegrini has received a two-match touchline ban from UEFA following his post-match referee rant after Manchester City’s 2-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League.

The Chilean will be forced to watch from the stands as his side attempt to overturn the deficit in the round-of-16 second leg at the Camp Nou on March 12.

Pellegrini angered the European governing body by criticising referee Jonas Eriksson for what the City manager perceived as favouring the Spanish champions in the first leg.

“The referee decided the game,” he said after the match. “He was on Barcelona’s side from the beginning until the end.”

The 60-year-old also accused Eriksson of being too inexperienced to preside over such a significant fixture, something that he said was down to the Swede’s nationality.

Pellegrini’s ban may continue into next season depending on whether City can overcome their Catalan opponents, while there is a further one-game ban suspended for two years.

FIFA vice-president Jim Boyce was particularly irked by the former Real Madrid manager’s comments, branding them ‘absolute nonsense’.

Pellegrini has since issued an apology for his criticism of Eriksson, saying that his frustration with the result played a part in the loss of control.

Picture courtesy of Manchester City FC via YouTube, with thanks

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