Chelsea striker, Diego Costa and Arsenal defender, Gabriel Paulista have been charged by the English FA for their violent conduct during the match between the two teams on Saturday. The Chelsea striker was involved in an incident earlier in the game with Laurent Koscielny in the first half of the game. While Diego Costa is charged with violent conduct, Gabriel is charged with improper conduct. Video footage shows that the Chelsea man had earlier showed his hands in the arsenal defenders face before flailing his left arm which also made contact with the defender. The referee at the time did not see all this but saw when Gabriel Paulista tried to kick the Chelsea strike which made him award a second yellow card that resulted to his sending off. Given the circumstances surrounding the incident, it could be said that the referee viewed Gabriel’s kick as retaliation for an earlier confrontation between the two players.
The situation with Gabriel is a bit complicated as the club has already filed an appeal for wrongful dismissal and even if it is accepted, the player would still be guilty to improper conduct for refusing to leave the pitch after he was sent off. It took the intervention of some players and a security agent to finally get him off. His fellow Arsenal man, Santi Carzola who was sent off following his tackle on Cesc Fabregas got off with a warning from the FA.
Following the charges, Diego Costa could face a three match ban for his actions while Gabriel could see his initial ban for his red card extended from three games to a higher number. A panel of judges would refer to the video footage of the match to determine the punishment that both players deserve for their actions and the decision of the panel must be congruent. The two clubs have also been charged by the FA for failing to conduct their players during the match which would go down to be one of the most heated encounters between the teams and they both have until Thursday to respond to the charges.