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Arsene set to plead his case to the FA

Arsene Wenger responded to questions this morning about the Football Association misconduct charge he is facing following his sending off against Burnley on Sunday.

Wenger was sent to the stands by referee Jon Moss after reacting to the award of a penalty to Burnley in the 92nd minute. He then had an altercation with fourth official Anthony Taylor when asked to leave the tunnel area.

The FA statement in bringing the misconduct charge said: “It is alleged that in or around the 92nd minute, he (Wenger) used abusive and/or insulting words towards the fourth official.

“It is further alleged that following his dismissal from the technical area, his behaviour in remaining in the tunnel area and making physical contact with the fourth official amounted to improper conduct.”

Speaking at his press conference this morning ahead of Arsenal’s FA Cup 4th round tie with Southampton at St Mary’s, Wenger said

“I’ve said what I have publicly and the rest will be more discreet. I don’t know if I will be punished and how I will be punished.

The only thing I can say is that when I was sent off I was surprised and then I was in the tunnel which is where I thought I could be.”

When asked if he would accept the charge, Wenger added: “Yes. I am big enough to stand up for what I do.

“When I don’t behave like I think I should behave, I am big enough to say I am not right. I’m a passionate guy and I believe that I am completely committed in my job and want to win football games.”

In 2012, then-Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was fined £20,000 and given a two match touchline ban for pushing an assistant referee during a match against Tottenham.

Wenger has until 18:00 GMT today to respond to the charge

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