Arsenal's Wilshere faces ban for 'flipping the bird'

Last updated 08:23 18/12/2013

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Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere was charged by the English Football Association today for making an abusive gesture toward Manchester City fans during a Premier League match.

Television cameras spotted the England international raising his middle finger in the direction of City supporters in the 69th minute of Saturday's game at Etihad Stadium, which Arsenal lost 6-3.

The incident wasn't seen by match officials but the FA has charged Wilshere retrospectively "with making an offensive and/or insulting and/or abusive gesture" after a three-man panel studied video footage.

"For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offense," the governing body said in a statement. "In this instance, the panel were unanimous."

Wilshere has until Wednesday to respond to the charge. He is facing a one-match ban, the punishment Liverpool striker Luis Suarez received for the same offense during a league game at Fulham in December 2011.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said after the City match that he didn't see Wilshere's gesture but added "if he did it, we will have to accept it."

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- AP

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