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Pellegrini charged by UEFA, apologizes to referee

(AP Photo/Clint Hughes)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) Hours after Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini issued a public apology for questioning the integrity of the referee who oversaw his team's Champions League loss to Barcelona, UEFA charged him with misconduct.

Pellegrini could face a touch-line ban if he's found guilty after UEFA opened disciplinary proceedings Friday.

After City's 2-0 first-leg loss, Pellegrini suggested referee Jonas Eriksson favored Barcelona and was "not impartial."

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

Barca went in front from a penalty after City defender Martin Demichelis was sent off.

Pellegrini says "it is not my way to act to criticize the referee, but in that case it was not a good day and he decided the game."

Updated February 21, 2014

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