Pellegrini receives touchline ban for Barcelona return leg

Blow for Manchester City's hopes of staying in the Champions League?

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has been hit with a UEFA touchline ban following his side’s 2-0 first leg defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League last week.

The Chilean will be banned for two games with a further one match ban suspended for two years. His ban will begin with the second leg of the tie against Barcelona on March 12th.

Pellegrini was given the ban because of his comments of the fixture at the Etihad Stadium when he said the referee Jonas Eriksson was ‘not impartial to both teams.’

The City boss said in his post-match press conference that day: “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.”

A statement from UEFA said the Manchester City boss “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.”

Pellegrini recently apologised for his comments at one of his news conferences, and is therefore unlikely to appeal against the ruling.

image: © Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

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