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Wilkinson charged with violent conduct

Stoke City's Andy Wilkinson is facing a three-match ban after being charged with violent conduct by the Football Association.

Wilkinson has been notified of the retrospective action from the FA - after an incident involving Mario Balotelli at the Britannia Stadium last Saturday.

Referee Mark Clattenburg and his officials failed to spot the flashpoint when the Stoke full-back appeared to elbow the Italian international off the ball during the 1-1 draw.

Balotelli fell to the ground following the clash and required medical attention. Team-mate Gael Clichy can be seen in TV replays pointing out to Clattenburg that he believed Wilkinson had swung an elbow into the Italian.

The FA has subsequently taken the action to charge the 28-year-old after reviewing video footage.

A statement by the FA confirmed: "Stoke City's Andy Wilkinson has been charged by The FA with violent conduct following an incident in his side's game against Manchester City on Saturday 15 September 2012.

"Wilkinson was involved in an incident with City's Mario Balotelli, which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.

"Wilkinson has until 6pm on Wednesday 19 September 2012 to respond to the charge."

Stoke manager Tony Pulis has been a long-standing supporter of Wilkinson and is mulling over what action to take in regards to the FA charge.

If found guilty he is likely to face a three-match suspension which will rule him out of Stoke's trip to Chelsea at the weekend.

Wilkinson will also miss the home game against Swansea City the following weekend and will serve the third game of his ban for the game against Liverpool at Anfield on October 7.

Clattenburg's handling had already been heavily criticised by City manager Roberto Mancini for allowing Peter Crouch's goal in the game.

Mancini claimed Crouch's goal was more like "basketball" than football and even the England striker admitted he had handled the ball in the lead up to his goal.

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