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Chelsea defender Reece James handed one-match ban for improper conduct

Chelsea defender Reece James handed one-match ban for improper conduct

Chelsea captain Reece James has been handed a one-match ban by the Football Association (FA) after acknowledging improper behaviour, according to the Telegraph reporter Matt Law.

The England international has been found guilty of confronting referee Jarred Gillett and using improper language at him in the tunnel following Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa last month.

The Blues were reduced to ten men after Malo Gusto, deputising for James at right back, was controversially sent off for a second-half foul on Lucas Digne.

On-field referee Gillett had initially issued Gusto a yellow card for the challenge but upgraded the punishment to a sending-off after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.

Chelsea eventually fell to defeat, with Villa taking advantage of their numerical superiority as Ollie Watkins bagged his first Premier League goal of the season.

The controversial fixture also saw Gillett anger Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino and his players, as well as the home supporters, after ending the first half early despite adding three minutes of extra time.

James did not feature in the September 24 showdown due to injury but was among a number of unavailable players who were on the bench for the game.

The Englishman’s ban will see him miss Chelsea’s next fixture against Burnley – a game the defender would have missed anyway as he continues to recover from an injury problem.

James’ suspension is also accompanied by a £90,000 fine after being judged by the FA to have used insulting or abusive language towards a match official.

Chelsea should be able to get by without their captain, having picked up two victories on the trot across all competitions for only the second time this season.

Pochettino’s youthful squad are still finding their feet, but they have begun to show promise, which is an indication that there could be better days on the horizon for the struggling Blues.

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