Chelsea have suffered a massive blow after their star striker Diego Costa is suspended for three matches by the Football Association.
The Brazil-born Spain international was involved in an incident where he slapped Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny just before the break during the Blues’ 2-0 victory over the Gunners at Stamford Bridge.
Gabriel Paulista involved himself in the incident and seconds later was sent off for allegedly stamping Costa. However, the FA has now overturned Arsenal defender’s three match ban, but will be subjected to a separate independent charge for misconduct.
“An FA charge against Diego Costa for violent conduct not seen by the match officials but caught on video has been found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing,” a statement read on FA’s official website.
“The Chelsea forward will, therefore, serve the standard penalty of a three-match suspension with immediate effect. The charge, which the player denied, was in relation to an incident involving Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny in the 43rd minute of the game on Saturday [19 September 2015].”
— England Football (@EnglandFootball) September 22, 2015
This means the former Ateltioc Madrid striker will miss Chelsea’s Capital One Cup clash against Walsall, Premier League clash against Newcastle United and Southampton.
After the match, the Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had urged the FA to investigate Costa’s incident. The Frenchman will be happy to know they have looked into this matter, but will surely be disappointed that he was not given marching orders during the match.
“I would like them, especially Mike Dean, to look at the whole action that happened during the game and see if he stands for his decision,” Wenger said.
“But you have a fourth official, you have a linesman, the referee and they talk all the game. They know Diego Costa. He is not a newcomer. He was here for a year now. It is surprising.
“I tell you something, if I am a referee and I referee Diego Costa, I do not send somebody off quickly if he responds because you know he has been well provoked.”