LONDON • Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is facing a three-match touchline ban in the Champions League after Uefa accused him of two separate offences - making abusive comments to a referee, and then defying the official again by influencing a substitution despite having been sent to the stands.
Guardiola has insisted he did not insult Spanish official Antonio Mateu Lahoz when shouting at him at half-time during City's 2-1 defeat by Liverpool in the return leg of their quarter-final on Tuesday, as the Reds won 5-1 on aggregate.
But European football's governing body appeared to reject that claim on Wednesday when they charged him with using abusive language, and added a second charge for communicating with his bench from the stands, apparently to make the decision to bring striker Sergio Aguero off the bench.
Antena 3, the Spanish TV channel, said it had analysed on Wednesday night footage of Guardiola's comments to the referee and that he had said "shut your mouth" in Spanish before putting his index finger to his lips as Lahoz left the field at the Etihad Stadium.
Guardiola was angry that Lahoz - with whom he has clashed before, when City played Monaco in the round of 16 last season - had ruled out Leroy Sane's first-half goal for offside when it should have stood because the ball came off Liverpool's James Milner, rather than City striker Gabriel Jesus, before the Germany winger scored.
Guardiola will already have to serve an automatic one-match touchline European ban, which will apply next season, for his dismissal.
But if Uefa's control, ethics and disciplinary body decides at a hearing on May 31 that the Spaniard directed abusive language towards the referee, it could ban him for a two further matches.
During any suspension, Guardiola will not be allowed to enter the City dressing room or tunnel before or during a Champions League match.
THE TIMES, LONDON