Manuel Pellegrini, the Manchester City manager, has apologised and attempted to clarify his controversial comments about Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson.

Pellegrini faces a Uefa charge after claiming the official was "not impartial" following his side's 2-0 Champions League defeat by Barcelona in midweek, and questioning why a Swedish referee was appointed to the fixture.

However, speaking yesterday, the 60-year-old said: "Maybe I said some things I didn't mean, so I apologise for what I said. I didn't say any serious accusation about Sweden, just that it was not the most important league in Europe and that is not an offence.

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"I think he had a bad day, but I didn't say that intentionally he didn't give fouls for us or did give fouls for Barcelona."