NYON - UEFA may relax the
rules which prevent banned coaches from communicating with their
team during matches following the controversy involving
Arsenal's Arsene Wenger.
UEFA, which has already agreed that coaches may remain on
their feet in the technical area in this season's Champions
League, said it sympathised with their view that being kept away
from the touchline is punishment enough.
"UEFA will have a look at it," technical director Andy
Roxburgh told reporters after a two-day meeting featuring some
of Europe's top club coaches.
"They think there are enough problems with not being on the
touchline," he said. "As far as they are concerned, that's more
than enough, they would like to see the other elements removed,
so this needs to be looked at."
Wenger was given a two-match European suspension by UEFA
last month for breaking the rules of a touchline ban imposed for
his behaviour in Arsenal's tie at Barcelona last season.
Although he sat in the stands for the Champions League
play-off at home to Udinese when he was suspended, Wenger used a
phone to talk to his staff during the first half until he was
told to stop by match officials.
He was given a two-match ban for doing so, although that was
then lifted pending an appeal by Arsenal.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho also has two matches of a
touchline ban to serve in the Champions League this season
following his red card in last season's acrimonious semi-final
Last season, coaches were allowed to get up to give
instructions to their players but then had to sit down again.
This season they will be allowed to remain on their feet in the
"As in all team sports, the coach is part of the spectacle,
his intervention is important for the game," Benfica coach Jorge
Jesus told reporters.
"UEFA has been sensitive about this, letting the coach give
orders to his players.
"He can remain standing up within the confines of the
technical area and doesn't have to return to the bench as was
Coaches said another major concern was the standard of
pitches in the Champions League.
"They want to see regulations tightened up regarding the
watering of pitches, cutting of the grass and things like that,"
"The stages that these performances take place on should
really be of the highest standard everywhere."
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