17 Mar Costa escapes ban for gesture
Chelsea’s Diego Costa will not face any action following a gesture he made to the Everton supporters during Saturday’s FA Cup game at Goodison Park.
The Spain striker had been given until 6pm on Wednesday by the Football Association to explain the gesture towards home fans at half-time of the match, which Chelsea lost 2-0.
A charge, and a one-match ban, could have followed, but there was some welcome relief for the 27-year-old when the FA issued a statement which read: “Having considered the evidence and Diego Costa’s observations in relation to a gesture the Chelsea forward made towards Everton supporters at half-time of Saturday’s FA Cup sixth-round tie, the FA is satisfied no further action is required.”
Costa has until 6pm on Thursday to respond to a misconduct charge for his reaction to his 84th-minute dismissal by referee Michael Oliver in the same game.
Costa is already suspended automatically for his first red card as a Chelsea player and will miss Saturday’s Barclays Premier League clash with West Ham.
The former Atletico Madrid man had no case to answer over speculation he bit Gareth Barry during the same game. The Everton midfielder insisted Costa had not bitten him after their altercation, during which Costa nuzzled his mouth into Barry’s neck.
Costa was sent off six minutes from time, with Barry following three minutes later for a second yellow card.
Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, who said his player had been “chased” during the game, later joked that he should take Costa to watch the film ‘Anger Management’ after a catalogue of incidents since his £32million arrival at Stamford Bridge during the summer of 2014.
Costa is no stranger to controversy and has a reputation for antagonising opponents. He collected his 10th Chelsea yellow card of the season before seeing red.
He has twice been handed three-match retrospective bans by the FA. The first came after he was adjudged to have deliberately trodden on the ankle of Liverpool’s Emre Can during a Capital One Cup semi-final in January 2015.
And the second three-match suspension followed an altercation with Laurent Koscielny in a Premier League defeat of Arsenal last September.
Costa is in his second season at Chelsea and is again reportedly agitating for a return to Atletico.