Southampton striker Charlie Austin has been charged by the FA with violent conduct for his kick to the face of Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Jonas Lossl, and has until 12 p.m. ET to respond.
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UPDATED: Austin has been handed a three-match ban, and has accepted the sanctions from England’s FA.)
In the 37th minute of Southampton’s 1-1 draw against Huddersfield, Austin chased a through-ball that Lossl had come out to collect. As the Terriers goalkeeper slid to ground to scoop up the loose ball, Austin leapt over Lossl’s head as he followed through, but not before sticking the tip of his boot straight into the face of the Danish keeper.
Lossl rolled on the ground for a while in obvious pain, and while he stayed in the game, it is suspected he suffered a broken nose. Austin was not cautioned for the incident by the match referee, as in real-time it was difficult to spot the intent. Huddersfield manager David Wagner criticized the Saints striker after the match, but admitted he did not see how bad it was until watching the replay.
“After seeing the video footage, this should usually never happen, that an opponent hurts another opponent on purpose,” Wagner said in his post-match media availability. “I don’t like to say this, but it looks this way. Jonas as well was absolutely surprised. This was a nasty challenge and nothing I like to see. I think he looks like this challenge was very ugly and nasty. This should never happen. Charlie Austin made the wrong decision in this moment.”
Austin would likely be slapped with a three-game ban if he accepts the charge, which would see him miss matches on Boxing Day against Tottenham, New Year’s Eve against Manchester United, and January 2nd against Crystal Palace.
Whether he accepts the charge or not, the 28-year-old suffered a hamstring injury later in the Huddersfield game and is likely out for the rest of the festive period anyways, according to Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino, who said he would be out “a couple of weeks minimum.”