Chelsea striker Didier Drogba should be banned for three-matches for throwing a coin back into the Burnley fans during Wednesday night's Carling Cup tie, according to Professional Fotballers' Association (PFA) chief Gordon Taylor.
The forward was prevented from celebrating his first goal of the season when an object was thrown on to the pitch at Stamford Bridge and despite apologising for throwing it back Drogba is facing a police investigation and an FA charge.
PFA chief executive Taylor believes the precedent for Drogba's misdemeanour is already there, and that a similar punishment should be expected.
"He's done something that's against the rules required of players, and a similar situation resulted in a three-match ban for Jamie Carragher," he said.
"So it would be very difficult to avoid an accusation that the FA are inconsistent if they don't follow that line."
In 2002, Liverpool defender Carragher was sent off in an FA Cup tie against Arsenal at Highbury after throwing a coin back into the crowd. He received a mandatory three-match ban and was also interviewed by police; but no further action was taken other than a verbal warning.
A spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police has confirmed that the Football Unit at Fulham police station is investigating the Drogba incident but added that no-one has been arrested.
The Ivory Coast international was shown the yellow card for his actions during the game and was contrite in his post-match interview. He said: "This is something I want to make clear. I tried to celebrate the goal and I received some things at me.
"The big mistake I did was to throw it back so if someone was hurt, I just want to apologise for it. This is not something I should show in a football match and I want to apologise.
"It was an incident in the heat of the moment and I regret it. It was just a mistake and nothing more."
Drogba had put Chelsea ahead in their Carling Cup fourth-round tie against the Championship side with a superb curling effort into the bottom corner. A shock equaliser 20 minutes from time through Burnley's veteran striker Ade Akinbiyi stunned last season's Champions League finalists.
Burnley goalkeeper Brian Jensen saved in a penalty shoot-out from Wayne Bridge and John Mikel Obi to send Chelsea crashing out of the competition.
Chelsea chose to await referee Keith Stroud's report before commenting further but Burnley manager Owen Coyle and Chelsea coach Luiz Felipe Scolari both denied seeing the incident.
Scolari said: "I have not spoken with Didier about any problem. The referee gave him a yellow card but I did not see what happened."
In a statement Burnley said: "[We are] proud of the 6,100 supporters who made the trip to Stamford Bridge and offered magnificent vocal backing.
"However, the club does not condone any misbehaviour from supporters and we will gladly co-operate with any inquiry into the incident, either from the FA or Chelsea Football Club. [But] we do not believe this matter should detract from one of the club's most memorable nights in recent times."