Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has said that he regrets asking referee Martin Atkinson to send him off during his side's 3-1 defeat against Arsenal.
The Italian had constantly been complaining about alleged time wasting from the Gunners, before being approached by Atkinson.
"He came to me and said 'if you keep going with your manner I will send you up to the stand'," explained the enraged boss in an interview with BBC Sport.
"I said if you want to complete a perfect job, you can send me off. He took it seriously and sent me off," said a regretful Di Canio.
His side sit rock bottom in the Premier League after picking up just one point out of a possible 12.
"Next time I will never invite the referee to send me off because he took it seriously." added Di Canio, whose side take on West Brom next saturday in a must win encounter.
The sending off wasn't the only controversy sparked by Atkinson, he also sparked Sunderland fans' anger by disallowing a Jozy Altidore goal.
Battling to get his side level once again, Altidore tangled with a determined Sagna before brushing a shot underneath the onrushing Wojciech Szczesny thinking he had brought them level.
But joy soon turned to disappointment after Atkinson brought the game back for a free-kick instead of playing an advantage. Sunderland subsequently missed the free-kick.
Olivier Giroud had opened the scoring early on for Arsenal before a penalty from Craig Gardner who thought he had brought the scores level, although Aaron Ramsey restored Arsenal's lead and then came the goal from Altidore which didn't stand.
Ramsey scored again late on, with his fifth of the season, and then came Di Canio's sending off late in the game.
What do you think of Di Canio's dismissal? Feel free to leave your opinion below!
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