Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger can expect an apology from Premier League referees chief Keith Hackett following his dismissal in the closing seconds of Saturday’s 2-1 English Premier League defeat to Manchester United.
League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan has spoken to Hackett about the Old Trafford incident which saw Wenger sent to the stands by referee Mike Dean on the advice of fourth official Lee Probert. And he has been told that Wenger will receive an apology from the Premier Game Match Officials Board which appoints officials to top-flight games in England. The Gunners manager caught Probert’s attention when he kicked an empty water bottle down the touchline following a disallowed goal for Arsenal. There was then confusion as Wenger seemed unaware of where he was supposed to go — moving first to the back of Arsenal dugout then starting to walk down the touchline as the whistle was blown.
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On the decision to penalize Wenger, Bevan said: “Although correct in ‘law’, it was completely out of context in the game and it was followed by the nonsense which followed over where Arsene Wenger should sit to watch the game.” He added: “I’ve spoken to Keith Hackett and he fully recognizes the situation was an error and an apology will follow to Arsene Wenger. “Lee Probert totally failed to manage the situation and created a needless pressure point taking the focus away from the pitch in a big event with only a minute to go.” Meanwhile, Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham have suffered a setback with a serious injury to Croatia playmaker Luka Modric. The 23-year-old broke his leg in Saturday’s 2-1 victory against Birmingham, which left the club second in the English Premier League after four wins from four. “X-rays have determined that Luka Modric sustained a fracture to his right fibula,” said a statement on the official Spurs Web site. Tottenham did not indicate how long the midfielder would be sidelined, but he is likely to miss the home game against champions Manchester United and the trip to Chelsea which follow the upcoming international break. Croatia play England at Wembley on September 9 in a crucial World Cup qualifier.