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Arsenal boss Arteta cleared of misconduct charge

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(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has avoided punishment from the Football Association over comments he made about refereeing following last month’s 1-0 defeat by Newcastle.

Arteta called the video assistant referee’s decision to allow the Magpies’ winning goal at St James’ Park “embarrassing” and a “disgrace”.

He was later charged with misconduct.

But the FA said that an independent Regulatory Commission found the charge to be not proven after a hearing.

“It was alleged that his comments constituted misconduct in that they were insulting towards match officials and/or detrimental to the game and/or brought the game into disrepute,” the FA added in a statement.

In the written reasons for the charge not being proven, it was revealed Arteta claimed that: “The word ‘disgrace’…’has a very similar spelling and pronunciation to the Spanish ‘desgracia’.

“The Spanish word has connotations of misfortune, tragedy or bad luck rather than the connotations of the English equivalent which suggest contempt, dishonour or disrespect.

“While the English meaning may lead to interpretations of abuse or insult, this was not the intended meaning.”

What happened in Newcastle game to upset Arteta?

The winning goal for Newcastle had three incidents that led to a long check by VAR – first whether Joe Willock had taken the ball out of play in the build up, then if Joelinton had fouled Gabriel to set up the goal, and finally whether Anthony Gordon was offside when he scored.

In his written comments, Arteta said his players were told by members of the opposition that the ball had gone out of play, despite VAR being satisfied it had not.

Arteta also claimed that his comments in the interviews “derived from a passionate desire to improve standards and not simply pick up on perceived injustices suffered by [Arteta] or [Arsenal] during the match”.

The Gunners boss felt his comments did not fall within types of behaviour referenced in a section in the FA’s ‘Essential Information for Managers, Owners and Directors – 2023/2024’ addressing ‘Media Comments and Social Media’.

Arteta emphasised his commitment to the improvement of standards “with the aim of ensuring that any similar incidents are dealt with as efficiently and accurately as possible”.

‘VAR weaknesses immense frustration for Arteta’

The Newcastle goal was one of a number of controversial and high-profile incidents involving VAR this season.

Luis Diaz had a wrongly disallowed goal for Liverpool in their 2-1 defeat by Tottenham.

Speaking after the match, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp said his side’s defeat came in “the most unfair circumstances” with “crazy decisions”, with referees’ body PGMOL admitting that a “significant human error” had been made.

That incident was referenced in the written reasons given for Arteta’s charge being dismissed, with the Regulatory Commission also taking into account ‘weaknesses in and issues with the VAR process’ and accepting that they were “a source of immense frustration” to the Arsenal boss.

The outcome of Arteta’s charge being found not proven means he can return to the dugout for the visit of Brighton on Sunday, after serving a one-match touchline ban in last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa for accruing three yellow cards this season.

Source: BBC

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