LONDON, September 20 – Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been hit with an improper conduct charge following his spat with a match official at the end of his team's draw with Sunderland, the Football Association confirmed Monday.Wenger faces an 8,000 pound fine and a one-match touchline ban if he accepts the charge under the FA’s fast-track disciplinary process.
It follows an incident at the Stadium of Light on Saturday when a furious Wenger remonstrated with fourth official Martin Atkinson after Sunderland had equalised in the fifth minute of injury time.
Wenger appeared to gently push Atkinson on the back after Darren Bent had scored 15 seconds after the end of the allotted four minutes of stoppage time.
"Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been charged with using insulting and/or abusive language and behaviour amounting to improper conduct," a statement on the FA’s website, www.thefa.com, read.
"The charges relate to Wenger’s conduct towards match officials at the conclusion of Arsenal’s match against Sunderland on September 18.
"Under the FA’s new fast-track procedures, Wenger has until Thursday, September 23 to respond to the charge and he has been offered a standard sanction of a one-match touchline ban and an 8,000 pound fine should he accept the charge.
"If he denies the charge, the case will be heard by a Regulatory Commission."
Wenger later denied accosting Atkinson.
"Take the pictures and look at it. I complained to nobody," Wenger insisted in a curt post-match press conference.