CHELSEA last night slammed the Football Association’s regulatory commission despite its decision to reduce Nemanja Matic’s suspension from three games to two.
Blues chiefs had appealed against midfielder Matic’s automatic three-game suspension for pushing Burnley’s Ashley Barnes in Saturday’s Premier League, in the hope of freeing the Serb to play in Sunday’s Capital One Cup final.
The FA panel took the unusual step of decreasing the ban, but that did not go far enough for Chelsea, who issued a statement saying it was “appalled”, “extremely disappointed and frustrated”.
Matic, who was reacting to a forceful challenge from Barnes, now stands to miss two competitive derbies: the Wembley clash with Tottenham and a midweek league trip to West Ham.
Chelsea said: “It is the club’s view that he has been unjustly punished with a two-match ban for his reaction to a career-threatening tackle. It is Chelsea’s opinion that referees and football authorities must do more to protect players at all levels of the game from dangerous challenges. This decision also clearly demonstrates a need for consistency and fairness in the disciplinary process.”