Manuel Pellegrini: Uefa charge Man City boss over comments

Manuel Pellegrini criticises referee Eriksson

Uefa has charged Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini with misconduct over his comments after the Champions League loss to Barcelona.

Pellegrini was fiercely critical of Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson after the 2-0 defeat at the Etihad, claiming he was "not impartial to both teams".

He apologised for the comments in his news conference on Friday.

But Uefa has charged him and the case will be dealt with by a disciplinary body on 28 February.

A Uefa statement said: "Following an investigation by the Uefa disciplinary inspector, Uefa has opened disciplinary proceedings against Manuel Luis Pellegrini concerning the press interviews given to media after the above-mentioned match.

"The Manchester City head coach is charged for violation of the general principles of conduct."

The first leg of Tuesday's last-16 encounter was poised at 0-0 early in the second half when Eriksson sent off City defender Martin Demichelis for a foul on Lionel Messi with the Argentina playmaker clean through on goal.

Replays suggested the incident was just outside the box, but a penalty was awarded which Messi duly converted. In the final minute Barca then added a second through Dani Alves to take a two-goal advantage into the second-leg at the Nou Camp on 12 March.

In his post-match news conference Pellegrini, 60, said: "From the beginning I felt the referee was not impartial to both teams.

"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.

"[It's] more important football in Europe than Sweden. A big game with two important teams, that kind of game needs a referee with more experience."

Pellegrini replaced Roberto Mancini as Manchester City manager in June last year and guided the club to five wins out of six in the group stages of this season's Champions League, including a 3-2 win at Bayern Munich, as City reached the last 16 for the first time.

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