The Football Association announced on Monday that Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been charged with improper conduct following an incident during an FA Cup quarter-final match against Everton on Saturday.
The Spaniard clashed with Gareth Barry in the dying minutes of the 2-0 loss and appeared to make a biting motion, per Rob Harris of the Associated Press. Both players received a yellow card, which was Costa's second of the match.
Per the FA's official statement, they're interested in what Costa did after he received his red card, which likely means the charge has little to do with the alleged bite: "Diego Costa has been charged in relation to Chelsea’s FA Cup sixth round fixture against Everton on Saturday 12 March 2016. It is alleged his behaviour, after being shown a second yellow card in the game, [that] amounted to improper conduct."
Chelsea released a statement denying Costa tried to bite his opponent, although he did show "regret" over his reaction: "Diego spoke to club officials after the game and expressed regret over his reaction to the challenge from Gareth Barry that led to his red card, but Diego was also very clear that he did not bite him at any point during that altercation."
Per Sky Sports News HQ, Barry later confirmed Costa did not bite him at any time:
Sky Sports News HQ @SkySportsNewsHQ
BREAKING: Diego Costa charged with improper conduct for his behaviour after being sent off at Everton #SSNHQ https://t.co/8LreE1Xm9k3/14/2016, 5:39:58 PM
According to the Daily Mirror's David Maddock, he instead faces a ban for his "aggressive attitude" during the incident, as well as his refusal to leave the pitch immediately and "continued aggression toward the referee."
It marks the second time this season Costa has been charged by the FA, as he faced a similar charge after an incident with Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista back in September, per the Guardian's Dominic Fifield.
Per the FA's official website, the Blues ace will also have to "provide his observations" for an alleged gesture he made toward the fans at half-time. He has until 6 p.m. GMT on Thursday to respond to the charge.
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