27/02/2007

FA charges Arsenal and Chelsea over Carling Cup brawl

Premiership teams Arsenal and Chelsea have both been charged with misconduct by the Football Association over following a brawl during Sunday's Carling Cup final at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, which saw three players sent off.

The row erupted towards the end of the match - which Chelsea won 2-1 - when Arsenal defender Kolo Toure was dragged back by Chelsea's John Obi Mikel, which sparked a brawl in which Arsenal's Emmanuel Eboue clashed with Chelsea defender Wayne Bridge, knocking him to the ground.

Toure and Mikel were given red cards, as was Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor who had also become caught up in the brawl. He had to be dragged from the field by Arsenal physio Gary Lewin after protesting to the referee about the red card.

Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard received a yellow card, as did Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas. Eboue was not cautioned at the time.

A statement released by the FA on Tuesday said that both Arsenal and Chelsea have been charged with misconduct. The statement said: "The charge alleges that the clubs failed to ensure that their players an/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative and/or violent behaviour."

Both clubs have until March 14 to respond.

No Chelsea players or officials will face individual charges, but the FA confirmed that Eboue has been charged with violent conduct for striking Bridge. He has until 6pm on Wednesday to respond and the case will be heard by a disciplinary commission on Thursday

Adebayor has also been charged with reacting aggressively and failing to leave the field of play immediately after being sent off. He also has until 6pm to respond to the charge and the case will be heard by a disciplinary commission on March 6.

Adebayor has the right to a personal hearing because the charge is outside the jurisdiction of the match officials, because he had already been sent off.

Neither Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger nor Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been charged, although both ran onto the pitch during the brawl.

Arsenal and Chelsea have also appealed to the FA over the red cards received by both Adebayor and Mikel. Toure did not appeal the decision to send him off and will serve an automatic ban.

(KMcA/SP)

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