Sergio Aguero has been charged with violent conduct by the FA after the Manchester City striker appeared to elbow Winston Reid during his side's 3-1 victory over West Ham United on Sunday (28 August). The Argentine striker has until 6pm on Wednesday 31 August to reply but faces a three-game suspension if he is found guilty, meaning he would miss the coming derby against Manchester United on 10 September.
The 28-year-old forward appeared to catch Reid in the throat during a challenge for a ball in the 76th minute. Referee Andre Marriner took no action during the match but the West Ham defender was replaced minutes later by Jonathan Calleri.
The FA can take retrospective disciplinary action in incidents that are not included in the referee's official match report. This was the case in this instance and Aguero has consequently been charged.
"Sergio Aguero has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct that was not seen by the match officials but caught on video," the FA have confirmed in an official statement. "The Manchester City forward was involved in an incident with West Ham United's Winston Reid in the 76th minute of the game on Sunday. He has until 6pm on Wednesday 31 August to reply."
"Off-the-ball incidents that are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three elite former match officials. Each panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence. For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision of the panel must be unanimous."
The news is a massive blow for Pep Guardiola ahead of the crucial derby against Manchester United, which will take place just after the international break. Should the City striker be found guilty, he will miss the encounter with Jose Mourinho's side, as well as the following Premier League clash with Bournemouth and the EFL third-round tie with Swansea City.
Last season major stars like Chelsea striker Diego Costa, Tottenham's Dele Alli and Manchester United duo Bastian Schweinsteiger and Marouane Fellaini were given three-game bans after similar incidents.
Aguero has also been withdrawn from international duties due to a calf injury. The Argentina Football Association claimed that the striker sustained the problem during the victory over the Hammers, but neither they nor City have set a timeline for his return.