Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will not face further punishment for his part in a scuffle with Everton’s James McCarthy on Wednesday, the FA has announced.
Tempers flared in the 86th minute after Ivanovic had a goal ruled out for offside. Everton’s Gareth Barry then tripped Willian, earning a second yellow card, and Ivanovic motioned his head towards McCarthy in the resulting fracas.
In a statement the FA said its panel of former referees could not unanimously agree that Ivanovic should have been sent off for his action.
The statement read: “In Premier League matches, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel of former elite referees will be asked by The FA to review it and advise what, if any, action they believe the match referee should have taken had it been witnessed at the time.
“For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence. In this instance, the panel did not believe the conduct was worthy of a dismissal.”
Speaking after the game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insisted that Ivanovic did not head-butt McCarthy and was innocent of any wrongdoing.
“Did Branislav Ivanovic go in with his head?” Mourinho told BT Sport. “Don’t make me laugh. Don’t make me laugh.”
While the Serbia international escaped sanctions, both Chelsea and Everton were charged for “failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion”.
Mourinho, who was last month fined £25,000 for saying there was a “clear campaign” against Chelsea, was not prepared to discuss the Ivanovic incident post-match or the possibility the defender would be banned.
Mourinho has already shown his anger at Diego Costa’s retrospective suspension for three matches for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can.
“I’m tired of stories and I’m never tired of football,” Mourinho added. “Football is emotion and what we had here today.
“A discussion because of a red card, a red card that should be given in the first half, because Barry should be sent off in the first half. He pulled Hazard. The second yellow card should be given there.”