The FA found themselves at the centre of yet more controversy yesterday as they upheld the decision to ban Chelsea striker Diego Costa for 3 games. The English governing body had earlier in the day made the decision to rescind the red card of Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista, for his part in the incident, a move that is bound to incense Jose Mourinho and the Chelsea fans further still. Costa, however, although only receiving a yellow card from referee Mike Dean in the original incident, was subsequently charged with violent conduct, which will now see him miss tonight’s game against Walsall in the Capital One Cup, as well as the Premier League clashes against Newcastle United and Southampton.
The charge relates to his clash with Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny near the end of the first half, which in turn lead to his clash with fellow centre back Gabriel. The controversial decision is bound to raise eyebrows among many in football, and perhaps more worryingly indirectly indicates that referee Dean did not see all of the incidents, meaning his actions were largely influenced by the reactions of the two sets of players. Many are also baffled by the bizarre decision to overturn the Gabriel red card, although the Brazilian defender still faces a separate charge of misconduct, related to his failure to leave the pitch immediately in the aftermath of the incident. Irrespective of any provocation, Dean indicates in his match report that he did see former Villarreal defender Gabriel kick out in reaction to Costa, and therefore the decision of the red card was surely justified.
Costa himself, meanwhile, is no stranger to controversy, having previously received a three game ban from the FA after appearing to stamp on both Emre Can and Martin Skrtel in separate incidents during a League Cup semi final clash against Liverpool last season. His style of play, dubbed by some as over aggressive, has also managed to irk several opposition managers, and also saw numerous pundits coming out after the weekend to suggest the former Atlético Madrid striker crossed the line too often with his physicality.
Fans of the 26 year old striker suggest that the Spanish international is just very adept at winding up the opposition, unnerving defenders, and provoking a reaction, and that this is not in itself cheating, just very clever play, while his critics are more condemning. For their part, Arsenal will perhaps take some consolation that the red card for Gabriel was overturned, despite going on to lose the game. This will also add weight to the argument from some of the Gunners faithful that Merseyside referee Dean should not be allowed to officiate in any further games featuring the North London side, although the likelihood of that influencing the FA are slim to none.
In the separate charge relating to Gabriel’s failure to leave the pitch immediately after being sent off, he and the club have until 6:00 PM on Thursday to respond, with recent decisions bound to influence their response.Share this: