Red card without consequences Ivanovic
LONDON, England ● Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will not miss the first three games of the season as a result of his sending off in the Community Shield.
Ivanovic was shown a straight red card by referee Kevin Friend at the end of the first half at Villa Park, as the Blues lost 3-2 to Manchester City in the football season’s traditional curtain-raiser.
It was initially believed the Serbian would be forced to serve a three-game suspension as a result of the two-footed tackle, but that will not be the case due to a Football Association rule change.
The FA changed its rules in 2006, after an incident during the Amsterdam Tournament ended with Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney serving three-match bans at the start of the English season. The new rule now removes that punishment for all non-competitive pre-season games, including the Community Shield.
Ivanovic will thus be free to face Wigan at the weekend. Team-mate Petr Cech is aiming for a fast start to the new season.
“We now have the most unfortunate international break, which is not ideal but the players go off, then we come back and the season starts on Sunday,” Cech said. “We can take positives from this game but hopefully next week we will be fitter and sharper.
“Manchester City was a step forward and I am sure we will be ready for Wigan.”