Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic given FA violent conduct charge

Branislav Ivanovic
Branislav Ivanovic

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association regarding an incident involving Wigan's Shaun Maloney during Saturday's game.

Replays showed the Serbian appeared to strike Maloney in the build-up to Juan Mata's winner in Chelsea's 2-1 win.

The 28-year-old former Lokomotiv Moscow player has been given until 1800 BST on Wednesday to respond to the charge.

He will be given a three-match suspension if he is found guilty.

As referee Mike Jones and his fellow officials did not see the incident at the time, the FA can take retrospective action.

Ivanovic faces being banned for Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham on Sunday and the Premier League matches against Arsenal and QPR, which will be significant in their attempts to finish in the top four.

The video footage, which emerged after Saturday's game, shows Maloney going down following the clash.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez was angry with the performance of Jones but does not want Ivanovic to be banned.

He said: "As a player, if you do something wrong you should be punished at that moment.

"You are competing against the opposing team in that game. You should be punished there and then.

"I don't see the point of punishing someone retrospectively. That is not something I am keen to see."

Ivanovic has been a key man for Chelsea this season, making 39 appearances in all competitions.