Ivanovic could face FA charge

Mon, 09 Apr 13:14:34 2012

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic was on Monday waiting to learn whether he would face a violent conduct charge after footage emerged of an off-the-ball clash with Shaun Maloney in Saturday's win over Wigan.

Press Association Sport understands the Football Association are aware of a video which appears to show Ivanovic punching Latics midfielder Maloney in the midriff moments before Juan Mata's controversial winner in the Blues' 2-1 Barclays Premier League victory at Stamford Bridge.

The FA will ask referee Mike Jones to confirm he and his assistants did not witness the incident and then review the footage - which shows Maloney going down bent double following the clash - before deciding whether to charge Ivanovic.

The Serbian, who opened the scoring on Saturday, could face a three-match ban if found guilty of violent conduct. The matter will not be dealt with before Chelsea's game at Fulham tonight, meaning any suspension would see Ivanovic miss Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham and other crucial derby fixtures against Arsenal and QPR.

Any punishment for Ivanovic would only add insult to injury for Wigan boss Roberto Martinez after the officials failed to chalk off both Chelsea goals for offside on Saturday.

Martinez was waiting to hear today whether he would face an FA charge of his own after branding assistant referee Dave Bryans' performance "disgusting" and "horrific", as well as questioning the treatment of his side in other matches this season.


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