Blues ‘appalled’ by Matic’s two-game ban

Chelsea have said they are ‘appalled’ by the decision to only reduce Nemanja Matic’s suspension by one game.

The club had appealed against the automatic three-match ban handed down after the Blues midfielder was sent off for pushing Burnley striker Ashley Barnes in the 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Matic had reacted angrily to a challenge from Barnes but the Football Association’s regulatory commission, which heard the appeal, said the force of the tackle did not justify the Serb’s reaction.

Soccer - Pre Season Friendly - Chelsea v Real Sociedad - Stamford Bridge

Comment: Rulemakers at the FA are to blame for the Matic fall-out

However, the commission did partially uphold the appeal, accepting that Matic had not pushed Barnes very hard, and so decided a two-match ban was sufficient.

He will be suspended for Sunday’s Capital One Cup final against Tottenham and the Premier League match with West Ham, but will now be available when Southampton visit Stamford Bridge on 15 March.

Chelsea said they were ‘extremely disappointed and frustrated’ that Matic would still have to serve a ban.

A club statement said: “There has been universal condemnation of the reckless challenge made by Ashley Barnes on Matic and 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 the 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.”

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