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.

Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas