Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic has had his ban for violent conduct reduced from three games to two, following his push on Ashley Barnes during Saturdays draw with Burnley. Matic had reacted badly to a tackle that seemed both overly aggressive, and high up on the Chelsea players leg.
Jose Mourinho was outraged by the incident, and when speaking during a television appearance said it could have ended Matic’s career. Sean Dyche then defender his player with a response of his own, and the issue has spiraled ever since. The FA were also looking into the tackle by Barnes, as well as considering the appeal by Chelsea.
Barnes was let off for the tackle, because the referee had seen the incident, and not taken action at the time. The combination of this, and Matic not having his suspension reduced by anymore than one game has drawn an angry response from the London Club. They released a strongly worded statement on the club website under the heading “Chelsea appalled with the FA’s decision on Matic” it then went on to say the following-
“The Chelsea Football Club Board is extremely disappointed and frustrated that the FA Regulatory Commission has today decided not to reduce Nemanja Matic’s suspension to the maximum extent permitted under FA rules.
“Chelsea FC challenged the standard three-match suspension which automatically followed the red card issued to Matic by referee Martin Atkinson during Saturday’s Premier League match against Burnley.
“There has been universal condemnation of the reckless challenge made by Ashley Barnes on Matic and it is the club’s view that he has been unjustly punished with a two-match ban for his reaction to a career-threatening tackle.
“It is Chelsea’s opinion that referees and the football authorities must do more to protect players at all levels of the game from dangerous challenges. This decision also clearly demonstrates a need for consistency and fairness in the disciplinary process.
“The club awaits the FA’s written reasons, prior to commenting further.”
If recent history is anything to go by, the Fa will not change their mind on this matter, meaning that Matic will be suspended for the Carling Cup final at Wembley on Sunday. Matic has received huge praise since he re-joined Chelsea last January. His presence will be badly missed as Chelsea attempt to capture the first piece of silverware during the second Mourinho era.