Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has been handed a three-game UEFA touchline ban for criticising the referee which took charge of his side’s Champions League loss to Barcelona at the Etihad stadium last week.
Pellegrini claimed after the 2-0 loss that Swedish official Jonas Eriksson was “not impartial to both teams”.
He now misses the return leg fixture on 12 March in Spain, plus one more match after being charged with misconduct.
A further one-match ban is suspended for two years, which he can appeal.
A Uefa statement read: “The City manager will be banned for his team’s round of 16 second leg against Barcelona in Spain on 12 March.
“This means that Pellegrini 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”.
The incident which caused the Chilean boss’ rage took place early in the second-half of last Tuesday’s encounter when Eriksson sent off City’s defender Martin Demichelis for a foul on Lionel Messi when the Argentina skipper was through on goal.
“From the beginning I felt the referee was not impartial to both teams,” Pellegrini said in his post-game spin.
“I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in charge of such a 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 in Sweden. A big game with two important teams, that kind of game needs a referee with more experience.”
The City boss has since apologised for the comment.