Wenger row referee in charge of Arsenal-Chelsea FA Cup final
The referee pushed and labelled “dishonest” by Arsene Wenger will take charge of next month’s FA Cup final between the veteran French manager’s Arsenal side and London rivals Chelsea, the Football Association have announced.
Wenger received a £25,000 ($32,000, 30,000 euros) fine for pushing Anthony Taylor, then the fourth official, during Arsenal’s Premier League win at home to Burnley on January 22.
Referee Jon Moss said Wenger accused Taylor of being “dishonest to (his) federation” before using foul language towards the fourth official.
Moss sent Wenger off after Burnley equalised with a penalty and the Arsenal manager intially stood in the mouth of the tunnel — thereby not complying with the order to leave the pitch area — at the Emirates Stadium.
It was after being twice asked to leave that area that he pushed Taylor twice, according to an FA report.
Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez scored the winning goal from the penalty spot in the eighth minute of stoppage time.
Following the match, Wenger said: “I regret everything. I should have shut up, gone in and gone home. I apologise for that.”
One of the matches for which Wenger was banned was the February 4 clash at Chelsea, which Arsenal lost 3-1.
Premier League leaders Chelsea beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-2 in last Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final and Wenger’s Arsenal defeated Manchester City 2-1 after extra time at Wembley a day later.
The two London clubs will contest the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 27 — six days after the end of the Premier League season.
In a tradition that dates back over a hundred years, referees are only allowed to take charge of the FA Cup final once in their career.
“It’s been a long-standing dream of mine in the 20-odd years that I’ve been a referee to one day officiate the FA Cup final, it’s the pinnacle of your domestic career,” Taylor, 38, told the FA’s website.
“Refereeing a match at Wembley is a fantastic experience, any game that you do there, but the Cup final is iconic and especially with it being a London derby as well, that adds an extra dimension to the occasion.”