UEFA charge Essien

December 8, 2005

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has been charged by UEFA following his tackle on Liverpool's Dietmar Hamann in Tuesday's Champions League clash at Stamford Bridge.

GettyImages / MichaelReganMichael Essien: Under scrutiny.

The Ghana international caught the German midfielder below the knee after a late challenge during the goalless draw but was not punished by the referee.

The 23-year-old summer signing from Lyon will face a charge of gross sporting misconduct at a hearing on December 15.

Essien's tackle proved the main talking point from the game as, despite the result, both sides had already qualified for the last 16.

Hamann described the tackle as 'the worst I've suffered in my career' and questioned how Essien escaped formal punishment on the field from referee Herbert Fandel.

UEFA have now acted retrospectively after studying video footage of the incident, perhaps prompted by comments about the tackle from FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

Blatter pointed out that video evidence can be used for incidents not seen by the referee at the time.

This differs from another controversial incident involving Essien earlier in the season after a tackle on Bolton's Tal Ben Haim in a Barclays Premiership match.

On that occasion Essien was booked by Rob Styles, but after seeing replays the official later said he should have sent him off.

The Football Association, however, did not have power to upgrade the yellow card to a red on video evidence as the incident was deemed to have been dealt with on the field.

Essien's tackle on Hamann was not spotted by Fandel or his assistants.