FA Backs Steve Bennett, Charges Javier Mascherano with "Improper Conduct"

John HoumesSenior Analyst IMarch 26, 2008

Today, the FA officially charged Javier Mascherano with improper conduct.

A statement from the FA read: "The charge relates to his reaction towards referee Steve Bennett after being sent off against Manchester United on Sunday, March 23.

"He has until 6pm on Thursday to respond. The case will be heard by a regulatory commission on Friday, April 4."

Mascherano has the option to accept or refute the charge. He can also ask for a personal hearing.

FA Chairman Lord Treisman commended Bennett, saying: "I thought he had done what I would like to feel referees will do - which is to have the bottle to do what is necessary."

Mascherano will already miss the Everton/Liverpool match this weekend in serving his automatic one-game suspension for the red card. The number of matches could be extended to two more, depending on the outcome of Friday.

If the charge is sustained after Friday, Mascherano will miss Liverpool's EPL matches against Arsenal and Blackburn. The penalty would not extend to any UEFA Champion's League games.


for more on this story from earlier today:

Mascherano On Trial With FA; Benitez Seeks Discussion