Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic escapes suspension despite red card against Manchester City in Community Shield

 

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will not face any suspension despite his red card in yesterday's fiery Community Shield defeat to Man City.

Ivanovic was sent off by referee Kevin Friend near end of the first half.

The Serbian caught fellow countryman Aleksandar Kolarov with a high tackle which Friend deemed worthy of a straight red card.

It was thought Ivanovic would be banned for three matches, starting with Chelsea's opening Barclays Premier League fixture at Wigan next Sunday.

However, it now appears the FA changed their rules after an incident during an Amsterdam Tournament in 2006, when Manchester United pair Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney were both sent off against Porto and ended up serving three-match bans.

As the rule change covered all non-competitive pre-season fixtures, including the Community Shield, it means Ivanovic will be free to play at the DW Stadium.

Goalkeeper Petr Cech admits the forthcoming internationals are hardly perfect preparation for the start of the new domestic campaign, but insists Chelsea will be ready for the big kick-off.

"We now have the most unfortunate international break, which is not ideal but the players go off, then we come back and the season starts on Sunday," Cech said, quoted on the club's official website, http://www.chelseafc.com.

"We can take positives from this game but hopefully next week we will be fitter and sharper.

"Manchester City was a step forward and I am sure we will be ready for Wigan."

PA

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