London: Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele faces a lengthy ban after the Football Association on Wednesday charged him with violent conduct over an incident involving Chelsea's Diego Costa.
Dembele appeared to gouge Costa's eye during Monday's 2-2 draw between the teams at Stamford Bridge and the FA said that if the Belgian midfielder is found guilty, the standard three-game ban will be "clearly insufficient". Chelsea and Tottenham have also been charged with failing to control their players following a series of flare-ups during the game, the result of which saw Leicester City crowned Premier League champions.
"Mousa Dembele has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video during the same game," the FA said in a statement. "The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was involved in an incident with Chelsea's Diego Costa near the end of the first half.
"Further, it is alleged the player's behaviour constituted violent conduct in circumstances where the standard punishment of three matches that would otherwise apply is clearly insufficient." Dembele was charged after footage of the incident with Costa was reviewed by a panel of three former elite referees. He has until 1700 GMT on Thursday to respond.
Dembele's fellow Spurs midfielder Dele Alli was last week given a season-ending three-game ban after being caught on camera punching West Bromwich Albion midfielder Claudio Yacob in the stomach. Monday's game between London rivals Chelsea and Spurs was an ill-tempered affair that featured touchline brawls late in the first half and after the final whistle.
Nine Spurs players were booked -- a Premier League record -- and three from Chelsea, which saw the game dubbed 'The Battle of Stamford Bridge'. On the charges relating to the two clubs, the FA said: "Both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have been charged for three breaches of FA Rule E20 for failing to control their players and/or officials.
"It follows incidents which occurred in the 45th and 87th minutes and also at the end of the game at Stamford Bridge on Monday night." The two clubs have until 1700 GMT on Monday to respond to the charges.