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FA asks Wenger to explain referee comments


London (AFP) – The Football Association on Thursday asked Arsene Wenger to clarify remarks about penalties given against his side made before and after Arsenal’s Premier League game with Chelsea.

Wenger complained about two spot-kick decisions given against the Gunners, the first awarded to West Brom on Sunday and the second given to Chelsea on Wednesday.

Both matches ended as draws and Wenger now has until 1800 GMT on Tuesday to respond.

Wenger has said he intends to appeal a separate FA charge relating to his behaviour after last weekend’s 1-1 draw with West Brom, when Arsenal defender Calum Chambers was penalised by Mike Dean for a handball.

Arsenal conceded another late penalty against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, as Eden Hazard went down following a challenge from Hector Bellerin. The game finished 2-2.

Wenger said before the game against Chelsea: “I must say what is more frustrating for me is that it happened many times this season — at Stoke, at Watford, at Manchester City, at West Brom. That is a concerning coincidence for me.”

On Dean’s decision to penalise Chambers, Wenger added: “He saw what he wanted to see and we have to deal with that.”

After the draw against Chelsea, Wenger said: “When opinions always go the same way it’s coincidence. Statistically it’s built on the fact that when it’s repeated it’s not coincidence.”

Arsenal have conceded four penalties in the Premier League this season — no team have conceded more — and against West Brom and Chelsea both came after they had taken the lead.

In January last year, Wenger was given a four-match touchline ban by the FA after pushing and verbally abusing fourth official Anthony Taylor, who was also referee for this week’s match against Chelsea.

Arsenal’s next game is away to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.

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