Tottenham Hotspur's Moussa Sissoko faces the likely prospect of being hit by a three-match suspension and missing next month's north London derby trip to Arsenal after being charged by The Football Association (FA) with an alleged act of violent conduct following a goalless Premier League draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday (22 October).
The charge relates to a late second-half incident involving Harry Arter, when the French international appeared to catch his fellow midfielder directly in the face with a right elbow when attempting to quickly get play restarted from a throw-in. The ugly episode sparked a confrontation between both sets of players, although referee Craig Pawson elected not to show any cards after a conversation with his assistant.
"Moussa Sissoko has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video," the FA confirmed in a statement released on Monday afternoon.
"The Tottenham Hotspur forward was involved in an incident with AFC Bournemouth's Harry Arter in the 79th minute of the game on Saturday [22 October 2016].
"Off the ball incidents which are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three former elite 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."
Speaking after the game, Arter, who scooped the Man of the Match award for his all-action display, played down the incident and revealed that he had accepted an apology from Sissoko made quickly after the full-time whistle.
"He caught me straight in the face and if you get hit in the face anyone would have a reaction," the Republic of Ireland midfielder told Sky Sports. "After the game he apologised. I'm not one to hold grudges. He said sorry, he didn't mean (to do) it, so that's end of.
"It looks like he elbowed me but he apologised and said it was an accident so that's good to me. At times in the heat of the battle you react differently and now I feel happy with his apology and if he didn't mean it hopefully he doesn't get banned."
Sissoko, who snubbed Everton to complete a lucrative £30m ($36.6m) move to Tottenham from Newcastle on transfer deadline day, has until 18.00 BST on Tuesday evening to respond to the charge. Mauricio Pochettino's side, the Premier League's last remaining unbeaten team in 2016/17, travel to Liverpool in the fourth round of the EFL Cup on Tuesday night before hosting Leicester in the top-flight next weekend. They then entertain Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League ahead of back-to-back London derbies against Arsenal and West Ham.
Pochettino reportedly indicated in his pre-Liverpool press conference that Tottenham have accepted the charge.