Chelsea to fight FA Old Trafford charge
Chelsea are to strongly defend themselves against two Football Association charges relating to the conduct of their players and assistant coach Steve Clarke. The Premier League club stand accused of failing to control their players during Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Manchester United. The charge relates to the conduct of their players towards match official Mike Dean following his decision to red card Mikel John Obi for his tackle on United's Patrice Evra. The will also contest the FA's decision to charge Clarke with using foul and/or insulting behaviour to match officials after the game. Chelsea's appeal against the Mikel red card was rejected on Tuesday and he was banned for three matches, beginning with last night's Carling Cup victory at Hull. But the Blues are now ready to launch a 'strong defence' against the FA's latest move. A Chelsea statement read: 'Chelsea Football Club will be strongly defending the two charges issued by the Football Association and will be considering that defence until we have to respond on October 12.' England captain John Terry, who tried to grab Dean's red card, has escaped an individual charge. The FA Statement read: 'Chelsea have been charged with failing to control their players during their match against Manchester United on 23 September. 'This charge relates to the conduct of Chelsea players towards referee Mike Dean following the sending-off of John Obi Mikel. 'Clarke has been charged with using abusive and/or insulting words towards the match officials after the end of the match at Old Trafford.'