By Adegboyega Adeleye
Chelsea captain Reece James has been charged by the Football Association for an alleged incident which occurred in the tunnel in the aftermath of the Blues defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday.
James, who missed the match due to injury, reportedly confronted referee Jarred Gillett after the 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa at Stamford Bridge.
The FA said: “It’s alleged that the defender used improper and/or insulting and/or abusive words and/or behaviour towards a match official in the tunnel after the game.”
James has until 29 September to respond to a charge of breaching FA rule E3.
The 23-year-old England defender has been sidelined for weeks and last played for Chelsea in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the opening fixture of the Premier League season.
The right-back picked up a hamstring problem in training last month having struggled with injuries throughout the 2022-23 campaign.
In the loss to Aston Villa on Saturday, Chelsea were reduced to 10 men as a goal from Ollie Watkins ensured their stuttering start to the season continued, with just five points in six Premier League games claimed under new manager Mauricio Pochettino.
French defender Malo Gusto was sent off in the 58th minute for dangerous play– a tackle on Villa defender Lucas Digne–after the video assistant referee (VAR) urged referee Gillett to check the pitchside monitor