Football: Banned Wenger says critics would prefer to see him jailed

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was given a fine of £25,000 (S$44,700) for verbally abusing and pushing Anthony Taylor during the Gunners' Premier League win over Burnley this month.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was given a fine of £25,000 (S$44,700) for verbally abusing and pushing Anthony Taylor during the Gunners' Premier League win over Burnley this month. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger brushed off suggestions that his four-match touchline ban for pushing a fourth official was too lenient, saying his critics would still not be satisfied if he was put behind bars.

The Frenchman was slapped with a fine of £25,000 (S$44,700) for verbally abusing and pushing fourth official Anthony Taylor during the Gunners' Premier League win over Burnley this month.

"Those who don't like me, any sentence will be too lenient. They would like to put me in jail somewhere without anything in the middle of winter - and that will still be lenient," he told the British media.

"My reaction (to the ban) is what I said after the game. Let's not bring this situation back again. I do not want to judge what the judge says.

"I got a sentence and I decided not to appeal just to get this behind me. There is no need for me to come back on that."

Wenger watched from the stands as Arsenal thrashed Southampton 5-0 at the St Mary's Stadium on Saturday to advance to the fifth round of the FA Cup.

Arsenal, who are second in the league table, eight points behind Chelsea after 22 games, host 14th-placed Watford on Tuesday.