We all saw it and we all said: “Wait, did Costa just bite him?”
Turns out he didn’t, but he is still in hot water anyway.
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On Monday the English Football Association announced it has charged Costa, 27, with misconduct after he was shown a second yellow card following an incident with Everton’s Gareth Barry towards the end of Chelsea’s defeat at Goodison Park in the FA Cup quarterfinal.
Here’s the statement in full from the FA:
Diego Costa has been charged in relation to Chelsea’s FA Cup sixth round fixture against Everton on Saturday 12 March 2016.
It is alleged his behavior, after being shown a second yellow card in the game, amounted to improper conduct.
He has until 6pm on Thursday 17 March 2016 to respond to the charge.
Meanwhile, the Chelsea striker has until Wednesday [16 March 2016] to provide his observations to The FA in relation to an alleged gesture he made towards Everton supporters while leaving the pitch at half-time.
So, it’s not the alleged bite which is being investigated at all, but Costa’s reaction to being shown a red card.
All of this comes just 24 hours after Barry took to social media to explain that he was not bitten on the neck by Costa during their 2-0 win over Chelsea. Barry, 35, had the following to say after the coming together saw Costa sent off.
“Seen a lot of talk about the incident involving me and Diego Costa. For the record Diego did not bite me.”
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With both Barry and Costa sent off for second yellows — the Everton midfielder picked up a second yellow three minutes after Costa’s dismissal — the duo will have a one-game ban each. And, remarkably, the sending off marks Costa’s first-ever red card in English soccer. True, he’s had two retrospective bans for stamping on Emre Can and pushing Laurent Koscielny in the face in the past, but this is his first actual dismissal.
Given this charge by the FA, though, it could be longer for one game for Costa as another game would be tacked on. That would mean he misses the next two Premier League games against West Ham and Aston Villa.
As the FA have said, Chelsea’s leading scorer failed to leave the pitch promptly when the second yellow card was shown to him and some unsavory scenes played out as he confronted referee Michael Oliver head on. He also apparently made some gestures to fans which are being looked into and has been asked to explain them.
Watch the incident which led to the red card play out in the video below and see what you think.
Fair play to Barry for coming forward and telling the truth, but it still doesn’t hide the fact that Costa reacted angrily and once again the red midst descended.
Reports about him potentially moving back to Spain with Atletico Madrid this summer have surfaced over the past 24 hours, and can you really blame Costa for wanting to get away from England when the spotlight is on him in a negative manner every single time he walks on the pitch? Of course, it’s mostly down to his own actions but perhaps incidents like the one which played out at Goodison could be something he’s doing intentionally to push through a move away this summer.
With no UEFA Champions League action at Stamford Bridge next season, stranger things have happened…
Between now and then, Costa may miss a few games.