Nemanja Matic Ban Reduced To Two Games


Chelsea FC midfielder Nemanja Matic’s three match ban has been reduced to just two games. The FA announced their decision on the matter today on their official website. Chelsea had agreed to appeal the decision the day after Matic was sent off after shoving Burnley forward Ashley Barnes. Matic was incensed by a very high tackle and possibly leg-breaking challenge made by Barnes and reacted as many of us would with a strong shove. He did not however throw a punch or strike Barnes in the face.

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The fact that he did not punch or kick at Barnes was taken in to account by the Regulatory Commission but it was not enough to completely remove the ban or reduce it to just one match. The Chairman of the Regulatory Commission said: “The violent response of Mr. Matic to the nature of the tackle cannot be condoned and does not vindicate his subsequent actions. The members of the Commission did, however, accept the mitigation in respect of the level of force used by Mr. Matic and the nature of the contact he made with Mr. Barnes of Burnley FC.”

This is very good news for the Blues, who get their star sweeper back in time for a very tough game against Southampton. The Blues will still be without Nemanja Matic for the League Cup Final this coming Sunday against a resurgent Tottenham side as well as the match against West Ham the following week.

Chelsea, however, was less than pleased with the decision, immediately reacting on their official website with bold words: “The Chelsea Football Club Board is extremely disappointed and frustrated that the FA Regulatory Commission has today decided not to reduce Nemanja Matic’s suspension to the maximum extent permitted under FA rules.”

While Southampton will be met with a well-rested Matic, Chelsea still has two very difficult games against Tottenham and West Ham. While all replacement options are fully fit, none can claim the position better than Matic.

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John Obi Mikel is, simply put, not in the same level as Matic in both defensive contributions and distributing the ball. Ramires is much more attack-minded, so pairing him with Cesc Fabregas would mean having to outscore the opposition, as we saw in the 6-3 thriller against Everton early in the season. Nathan Ake or Ruben Loftus-Cheek could be called up to show what they’ve got, but taking risks is not exactly the best policy so late in the season.

What do you think? Should the ban have been reduced completely, or is this a fair compromise to the issue? Who should replace Matic for the two games he is away? Comment below!

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