Dembele faces lengthy ban

Mousa Dembele has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to a charge of violent conduct against Chelsea forward Diego Costa.

Tottenham: Dembele faces lengthy banTottenham: Dembele faces lengthy ban

A bad-tempered Premier League encounter at Stamford Bridge on Monday night produced 12 yellow cards as well as two mass brawls involving players and coaches from both sides, as Chelsea fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 – a result which handed the title to Leicester.

The Football Association confirmed on Wednesday afternoon a disciplinary case had been opened, with Spurs and Chelsea charged with three counts of failing to control their players and Dembele also facing action after appearing to claw his fingers down Costa’s face during a skirmish at the end of the first half.

Should the charge be upheld, the Belgium midfielder is expected to almost certainly be suspended for the remaining two matches of the current season, with any ban possibly rolling over into the start of the 2016/17 campaign.

The statement from the FA read: “Both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have been charged for three breaches of FA rule E20 for failing to control their players and/or officials. It follows incidents which occurred in the 45th and 87th minutes and also at the end of the game at Stamford Bridge on Monday night (2 May 2016).

“Both clubs have until 6pm on Monday 9 May 2016 to respond to their charge.

“Meanwhile, Mousa Dembele has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video during the same game.

“The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was involved in an incident with Chelsea’s Diego Costa near the end of the first half.

“Further, it is alleged the player’s behaviour constituted violent conduct in circumstances where the standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient.”

The FA statement clarified how off-the-ball incidents, which are not seen at the time by the match officials, are referred to a panel of three former elite referees, who will each review the video footage independently to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence.

For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision of the panel must be unanimous.

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