Arsenal and Chelsea charged over cup brawl

February 27, 2007

Chelsea and Arsenal have been charged by the Football Association with failing to control their players following a mass brawl in Sunday's Carling Cup final at the Millennium Stadium.

GettyImagesHandbags at the Cup Final.

Gunners defender Emmanuel Eboue has been charged with violent conduct for striking Chelsea's Wayne Bridge during the melee, while striker Emmanuel Adebayor has also been cited following his reaction to being sent off by referee Howard Webb.

A statement from the FA read: 'Arsenal and Chelsea have been charged with misconduct for an incident involving players and officials from both clubs towards the end of the Carling Cup final on Sunday, February 25.

'The charge alleges that the clubs failed to ensure that their players and/or officials conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative and/or violent behaviour.

'The clubs have until March 14 to respond. There are no individual charges against officials from either Arsenal or Chelsea.

'Arsenal's Emmanuel Eboue has been charged with violent conduct for striking Chelsea's Wayne Bridge. He has until 6pm tomorrow to respond, and the case will be heard by a disciplinary commission on Thursday on the basis of documents and video evidence.

'His team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor has been charged with reacting aggressively and failing to leave the field of play immediately after being sent off.

He has until 6pm tomorrow to respond to the charge and his case will be heard by a disciplinary commission on Tuesday, March 6.

As this charge is outside the jurisdiction of the match officials (he had already been sent off), he has the right to a personal hearing.'

The club's appeals against red cards shown to Adebayor and Chelsea midfielder Jon Obi Mikel are currently being heard, with a decision expected later this afternoon.

Adebayor and Mikel have lodged an appeal with the FA for wrongful dismissal in the hope of having a red card in the Carling Cup final rescinded, and those are part of a separate disciplinary process to the ones announced today.

However, Gunners skipper Kolo Toure - who was also sent off for his part in the mass brawl - has not, and so will automatically serve a ban.

Under the FA's fast-track disciplinary process, the appeals will be held today, meaning a decision will come ahead of Arsenal's FA Cup fourth-round replay at Blackburn tomorrow night.

Ivory Coast defender Toure, however, will definitely miss that game, along with the Barclays Premiership visit of Reading on Saturday and then Aston Villa.

He will be available for the Champions League second leg against PSV Eindhoven next Wednesday as it is a UEFA competition.

The melee at the Millennium Stadium was sparked following a confrontation between Mikel and Toure, with players and coaches from both sides becoming involved.

Adebayor protested his innocence, and while he may have a case for mistaken identity given the actions of full-back Eboue in his clash with Bridge, the Togo striker now looks set to face further sanctions for the way in which he both confronted referee Webb and refused to immediately leave the pitch.

'I saw a lot of people getting angry and when I first got there it was to stop people and bring [the situation] down. It was a final and I did not want a lot of people to get involved,' said Adebayor, a second-half substitute on Sunday.

'When the referee showed me a red card I could not believe it.

'I remember straight away [Arsenal physio] Gary Lewin came to me to say, `Come on Manu, let's go,' but I said, `Just leave me to me ask one question - why did he give me a red card?'

'A lot of people thought I was going to hit him, but I was not.'

Adebayor, 21, added: 'I think it is very important for me [to appeal] because I did not do anything wrong.

'I did not hit anybody, but he gave me a red card.'

The brawl, which saw as many players dismissed in one minute as in the 46 previous finals altogether, completely overshadowed a pulsating contest, which also featured Chelsea skipper John Terry being stretchered off after being kicked in the head by Abou Diaby as the Blues prevailed 2-1.