Pellegrini: I did not deserve touchline ban

Manuel Pellegrini insists that he did not deserve the UEFA touchline ban imposed on him following his outburst at referee Jonas Eriksson.

The Manchester City manager criticised the official following the 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona on February 18, after the Swede awarded the Spanish champions a controversial second-half penalty when Martin Demichelis fouled Lionel Messi, though the infringement appeared to take place outside of the box.

Pellegrini suggested that Eriksson "was not impartial", and claimed that it was "not a good idea" to put a Swedish referee in charge of such a high-profile game.

The Chilean also indicated that Eriksson was trying to make amends for his decision that went against Barca in their Champions League quarter-final encounter with Milan in 2012.

Pellegrini subsequently apologised for his comments, insisting that he was simply "angry" and "frustrated", but it failed to appease European football's governing body, who charged the 60-year-old with a "violation of the general principles of conduct".

UEFA hit Pellegrini with a three-game touchline ban, though one of those matches is suspended for two years, meaning he will be unable to sit in the dugout when City attempt to reverse a two-goal deficit at Camp Nou next Wednesday.

And Pellegrini believes that the punishment was too severe, considering that he expressed regret at his actions.

"I repeat, I don't think I deserve three games or two games," he said.

"I said two days after in my press conference that I was wrong in the way I did it.

"But I continue saying that it was not a penalty and that it decided the game and it was a bad day (for the referee), but I don't want to continue.

"If they decide that is the punishment for me, then I will see what I am going to do in future."


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