Ivanovic risks adding to Chelsea's defensive crisis by appealing red card

 

Branislav Ivanovic has decided to appeal against a charge of violent conduct brought against him by the Football Association. The Chelsea defender was charged after an incident with Wigan midfielder Shaun Maloney during Saturday's 2-1 victory over Roberto Martinez's side, and could face a possible three-match ban if found guilty. The case will be heard today by an FA regulatory commission.

The Blues face a defensive crisis which threatens to derail their season should Ivanovic fail in his appeal. They would be without the 28-year-old for three crucial London derbies if he is found guilty of striking Maloney during Saturday's victory – starting with Sunday evening's FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur.

Chelsea's interim manager Roberto Di Matteo already has enough problems in defence with his captain, John Terry, playing through the pain of cracked ribs and left-back Ashley Cole's ankle injury reportedly worse than was first feared.

The FA charged Ivanovic after examining video footage of his clash with Maloney, which took place moments before Juan Mata's controversial winner at Stamford Bridge. Referee Mike Jones confirmed he and his assistants did not witness the incident, giving the FA the green light to investigate it retrospectively.

The video footage, which emerged after Saturday's game, shows Maloney going down bent double after appearing to be struck in the midriff.

As well as the Spurs semi-final, Ivanovic faces missing two league derbies, against Arsenal and Queen's Park Rangers. Martinez said he did not want Ivanovic banned. "As a player, if you do something wrong you should be punished at that moment," the Spaniard said. "I don't see the point of punishing someone retrospectively."

Meanwhile, the former Chelsea midfielder Gianfranco Zola has expressed his interest in becoming manager of the club, but concedes the prospect of it becoming reality is unlikely.

The Blues have improved under the guidance of Di Matteo and have reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. While support for Di Matteo's appointment on a permanent basis is growing, his future at Stamford Bridge remains in doubt. The Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, Laurent Blanc and Didier Deschamps are all names to have been linked with the post.

And yesterday Zola, who spent seven years at Chelsea, joined those names, while acknowledging the job done by Di Matteo. "Chelsea? I'd be a hypocrite if I said that I wouldn't want the job, but I don't think there are the right conditions in place for that," Zola told the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport. "As a Chelsea fan I always want the team to be in the best possible hands, as they are right now with Roberto Di Matteo."

Zola left Stamford Bridge in 2003 and later spent two years at West Ham United in his first – and only – club managerial post before leaving in 2010.

News
peoplePair enliven the Emirates bore-draw
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark episode 8, review
News
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband (R) and Boris Johnson, mayor of London, talk on the Andrew Marr show in London April 26
General electionAndrew Marr forced to intervene as Boris and Miliband clash on TV
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions