Chelsea forward Diego Costa has been banned for three matches after The Football Association rejected an appeal against a charge of violent conduct following the Premier League win over Arsenal. Television footage caught the Spain international striking opposition defender Laurent Koscielny twice in the first half, an incident that was missed by referee Mike Dean.
Costa's ban will start with immediate effect meaning he will miss the Capital One Cup third round tie at Walsall, and the Premier League games at away at Newcastle United an at home to Southampton at the start of October. The former Atletico Madrid is yet to find the net this season having finish his maiden season in English football at the club's top scorer.
Last season the 26-year-old was suspended for three matches after stamping on Liverpool midfielder Emre Can, which coupled with missing one game after picking up a fifth yellow card of the term last November means the number of games missed by Costa due to disciplinary problems will rise to seven. "An FA charge against Diego Costa for violent conduct not seen by the match officials but caught on video has been found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing," a statement read.
"The Chelsea forward will, therefore, serve the standard penalty of a three-match suspension with immediate effect. The charge, which the player denied, was in relation to an incident involving Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny in the 43rd minute of the game."
Following the game, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho protested Costa's evidence and said his performance warranted the man-of-the-match award rather than retrospective punishment. "Diego Costa played like he has to play," he said. "That's why you have full stadiums and you sell the game around the world for millions, because the game has to be played like that.
"Diego was fantastic, Man of the Match for me," he added. "It was the same referee that made every decision and didn't give two clear penalties to us. Gabriel did something to Hazard which is allowed in rugby, not football. In the box it's a penalty. In the second half another player did the same on Diego Costa. In rugby it's fantastic, in football it's a penalty. He said before the game I have to cope with my defeat, tonight he [Arsene Wenger] has to cope with his defeat."
The judgement follows news that Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista, who was sent off in the wake of Costa's attack on Koscielny, has won his appeal against a three-match for appearing to kick-out at the Chelsea hitman. New video evidence has surfaced showing Gabriel failing to make contact with Costa, footage which is believed to have been used during the appeal process.