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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini charged for ref outburst by UEFA, issues apology

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MANCHESTER, England - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini was charged with misconduct by UEFA on Friday, hours after apologizing for blaming a referee for his team's Champions League loss to Barcelona.

After questioning the integrity of Jonas Eriksson, Pellegrini faces a touch-line ban when his case is heard next Friday by UEFA's control and disciplinary body.

UEFA announced that Pellegrini was "charged for violation of the general principles of conduct."

After City's 2-0 first-leg loss on Tuesday, Pellegrini said Eriksson was "not impartial" and favoured Barcelona. The manager also said that since the referee is Swedish, he shouldn't have been given such a high-profile game.

"Maybe I said some things I didn't mean, so I apologize for what I said," Pellegrini said Friday.

"It is not my way to act to criticize the referee," the Chilean added. "But in that case it was not a good day and he decided the game — but not with the intention to benefit Barcelona or damage Manchester City."

The round of 16 match turned at the start of the second half when Eriksson sent off City defender Martin Demichelis, and Lionel Messi scored from the subsequent penalty.

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