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" "the corruption of the referees"" ?
He meant the on-field haranguing of referees by certain managers in the game which is clearly another form of cheating. There has been, over the years, an increase in attempts by certain managers to manipulate referees and officials from the touchline during games, and it can’t do the referees' confidence any good - what these managers are doing is referees authority. This practice has been going on for years unchecked by the governing bodies. The current monetary punishment of managers involved isn't working. The authorities need to take firm action against erring managers to protect the game.
I think it would be naive to think that our own game is clean.
Given that he said it in this:
there’s a lot of cheating going on in our game and that we are not strong enough with what happens, nor with the doping, nor with the corruption of the referees, nor with the match fixing. It’s time that we tackle this problem in a very serious way and that people who cheat are punished in a very severe way.
“You cannot accept that somebody who works the whole week decides to spend his money to go to a game and you cheat him because all is decided before he gets to the stand.”
I think it is very unlikely he was referring to Fergie, or himself, bending the ears of referees and fourth officials, (which should be a different thread, I think). He seems to be claiming something rather stronger. Whatever else Wenger is, he's intelligent enough to pick his words carefully and not let one thing accidentally sound like another.
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I would have thought in light of the match fixing claims over the last week or so the word "corruption" was just, if not more, likely to refer to that. Especially as its obvious from the rest of his comments that he`s talking about football around the world. As for premiership managers they may be undermining a ref`s authority but that`s a long way from corrupting them.