By Matt Fortune
Arsène Wenger was not suspicious about the motives of Dutch referee Pieter Vink during the Champions League tie against Liverpool in midweek.
The official has been subjected to media speculation after he failed to award Arsenal a penalty when Alex Hleb was felled by Dirk Kuyt in the second half at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night.
It has emerged that Vink and Kuyt had once lived a short distance apart in the Southern region of the Netherlands, and they also knew each other from the Liverpool forward's days with Feyenoord. Both have refuted any claims of bias, and Wenger agrees.
"There is no credence in [the reports]," said the
Frenchman. "A referee is like a manager - you want a clear
game and to do your job well. I have no suspicion at all.
"I cannot say it wasn't a penalty because it was a penalty but only he can say why.
"But we have to keep these claims out of the game because otherwise where will it finish? You have to accept he made the wrong decision but he is honest."