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UEFA bans City's Pellegrini for Barcelona match

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 28, 2014 at 9:13 am •  Published: February 28, 2014

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini will start a two-match ban when his team plays Barcelona in the Champions League on March 12.

Pellegrini, who blamed the referee for the 2-0 loss in the first leg, will remain under probation by UEFA for two years and a further one-game ban will be imposed if there is another misconduct case.

UEFA says its disciplinary ruling bars the Chilean coach from contacting his players while banned.

After the first leg on Feb. 18, Pellegrini questioned the integrity of referee Jonas Eriksson, who he said was "not impartial."

The match was scoreless early in the second half when Eriksson sent off City defender Martin Demichelis for fouling Lionel Messi. Messi scored the subsequent penalty.

Pellegrini, who later apologized, can appeal.