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Chelsea’s Reece James faces suspension for confronting referee

Chelsea defender Reece James has been hit with a one-game suspension and a £90,000 ($109,000) fine after abusing a match official following his side’s defeat against Aston Villa.


James admitted a Football Association charge of using “improper, insulting and abusive words and behaviour” after he reportedly confronted referee Jarred Gillett in the tunnel at Stamford Bridge.

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Villa won the Premier League fixture 1-0 and the 23-year-old was believed to have been angered when Chelsea defender Malo Gusto was sent off in the second half.

Gusto was dismissed for dangerous play after Gillett was advised by VAR to check the pitchside monitor having initially booked him for a foul on Villa’s Lucas Digne.

James had been watching from the sidelines as he was not in the matchday squad due to injury.

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“Reece James has been given a one-match suspension and £90,000 fine for breaching FA Rule E3 at Chelsea’s Premier League match against Aston Villa on Sunday September 24,” an FA spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“The defender admitted that he used improper, insulting and/or abusive words and behaviour towards a match official in the tunnel after the final whistle.

“An independent regulatory commission imposed these sanctions following a hearing, and its written reasons for them will be published at the earliest opportunity.”


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James sustained a hamstring injury in training last month and has not appeared for Mauricio Pochettino’s side since a draw against Liverpool on the opening day of the season.

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Chelsea are hoping James will be fit to return to action in the London derby against Arsenal on October 21.

© Agence France-Presse

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