Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic has suspension reduced to 2 matches
LONDON (AP) — Chelsea expressed its “extreme disappointment” with the English Football Association for only reducing a three-match ban for midfielder Nemanja Matic to two games following an appeal by the club on Tuesday.
Matic was sent off during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Burnley in the Premier League for pushing over opponent Ashley Barnes, after Barnes attempted to pass the ball, only for his foot to make contact with the side of Matic’s left shin.
“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,” Chelsea said in a statement. “Referees and the football authorities must do more to protect players at all levels of the game from dangerous challenges.”
Chelsea wanted the suspension to be completely revoked by The FA’s independent regulatory commission which reviewed the case.
The ban was only reduced by one game due to Matic’s reaction to the incident — having rushed over to Barnes and pushed him to the ground.
“The violent response of Mr. Matic to the nature of the tackle cannot be condoned,” the FA said. “The members of the commission did, however, accept the mitigation in respect of the level of force used by Mr. Matic and the nature of the contact he made with Mr. Barnes of Burnley FC.
“Having made those considerations we determined that the standard punishment of a three-match suspension would be clearly excessive.”
Matic will miss Sunday’s League Cup final against Tottenham at Wembley Stadium and a league game against West Ham on March 4.