Man City boss Pellegrini facing UEFA investigation

Manuel Pellegrini could face a ban. Photo: PA

Manuel Pellegrini's comments following Manchester City's defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday night will be investigated by UEFA, European football's governing body has announced.

Pellegrini strongly criticised Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson and appeared to question his impartiality after a match which turned on the decision to award Barca a penalty and send off City defender Martin Demichelis in the 54th minute.

"UEFA has mandated a disciplinary inspector to commence an investigation concerning the press interviews given by the Manchester City FC head coach Manuel Luis Pellegrini to media after the above-mentioned match," a UEFA statement said.

"Based on the outcome of this investigation, a decision will be taken on whether disciplinary proceedings will be opened."

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Page 2: 15:34Speaking after Tuesday night's match, Pellegrini said: "From the beginning I felt the referee was not impartial to both teams.

"I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in charge of such an 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 Sweden. A big game with two important teams, that kind of game needs a referee with more experience."

Eriksson has been selected by FIFA to referee at the World Cup finals in Brazil this summer, and the world governing body's referees chief has already dismissed Pellegrini's comments.

"I read the remarks that were made by the Manchester City manager," said Jim Boyce, a FIFA vice-president from Northern Ireland.

"I saw the game and my own personal opinion is that I thought the referee had a good game. He is a very experienced referee who has been chosen for the World Cup because of excellent reports of his performances in Europe."