Everton could be without Oumar Niasse for forthcoming Premier League matches against Southampton and David Moyes' new club West Ham United after the Senegal striker became the first top-flight player to be retrospectively charged with an alleged act of simulation.
Leighton Baines cancelled out James McArthur's opener in the fifth minute of a lively 2-2 draw with bottom club Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday (18 November) after Niasse had controversially been awarded a penalty by referee Anthony Taylor following what appeared to be minimal contact with defender Scott Dann.
Such an incident infuriated Dann and Eagles boss Roy Hodgson, who both accused the 27-year-old - scorer of Everton's second equaliser on the stroke of half-time - of diving to win the spot-kick.
Speculation that Niasse could face retrospective action under powers extended by the Football Association (FA) in May to include the offence of "successful deception of a match official" were confirmed in a statement released on Tuesday [21 November] morning.
"Everton's Oumar Niasse has been charged for 'Successful Deception of a Match Official' following the game against Crystal Palace on 18 November 2017," the FA said. "It is alleged he committed an act of simulation which led to a penalty being awarded in the fifth minute of the game.
"Incidents which suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation are referred to a panel consisting of one ex-match official, one ex-manager and one ex-player. Each panel member will be asked to review all available video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it was an offence of 'Successful Deception of a Match Official'.
"Only in circumstances where the panel are unanimous would The FA issue a charge."
Niasse, who insisted there was contact on his upper body and that he would be "shocked" if he was charged, has until 18.00 GMT on Tuesday evening to respond. If found guilty, he would be hit with a two-game ban that would rule him out of Sunday's trip to St Mary's and the clash with relegation rivals West Ham, now managed by former coach Moyes, on 29 November.
The loss of Niasse would come as a real blow to caretaker manager David Unsworth, with the former Lokomotiv Moscow frontman, initially completely frozen out during the reign of Ronald Koeman, having scored six goals in nine appearances for the struggling Toffees since returning from a productive loan stint with relegated Hull City.
Reacting to the penalty decision after the game, Unsworth, whose team clearly lack alternative firepower said: "The one thing I'll tell you about Oumar is he will always take on any opportunity. If he got clipped or pushed, if it was a soft penalty, it was a soft penalty.
"I haven't seen it again, it was a long way away. There looked like there was contact from where I was standing."
Carlisle United forward Shaun Miller and Bristol City defender Bailey Wright are the only players in the top four divisions of English football to be retrospectively banned under those new simulation laws to date.