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Mousa Dembele, Chelsea and Tottenham charged following ‘Battle of the Bridge’

Mousa Dembele could be set to miss the start of next season after the Tottenham midfielder was charged with violent conduct following Monday’s ‘Battle of the Bridge’.

Chelsea and Spurs have also been charged by the Football Association with three breaches of failing to control their players during the Monday Night Football encounter, which saw the home side come back from two goals down to secure a 2-2 draw and end Tottenham’s chances of winning the Premier League.

Dembele has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video after he was involved in an incident with Diego Costa towards the end of the first half.

Gary Cahill of Chelsea steps in to separate the warring Ryan Mason of Tottenham Hotspur and Willian of Chelsea
Gary Cahill of Chelsea steps in to separate the warring Ryan Mason of Tottenham Hotspur and Willian of Chelsea

If Dembele is found guilty, the FA has indicated that the standard three-match suspension would be a ‘clearly insufficient’ punishment.

The Belgian has until 6pm on Thursday, May 5 to respond to the charge.

In April 2013 then-Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was banned by the FA for 10 games for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.

An FA statement said: “It is alleged the player’s behaviour constituted violent conduct in circumstances where the standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient.”

The statement added: “Off the ball incidents which are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three former elite referees.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher says last night's match between Chelsea and Tottenham was the toughest game to referee in the past 24 years
Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher says last night’s match between Chelsea and Tottenham was the toughest game to referee in the past 24 years

“Each referee panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence.

“For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision of the panel must be unanimous.”

Both clubs have been charged for three breaches of FA Rule E20 for failing to control their players and/or officials.

The FA charges come after incidents in the 45th and 87th minutes and also at the end of the game at Stamford Bridge and both clubs have until 6pm on Monday, May 9 to respond to their charge.

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