Reece James charged for abusing match official in tunnel after Aston Villa loss

Chelsea defender Reece James has been charged by the Football Association (FA) for using ‘abusive words’ towards a match official in the tunnel following Sunday’s home defeat to Aston Villa.

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James is currently out injured with a hamstring injury and has not featured since the first Premier League game of the season.

‘Reece James has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 following Chelsea’s Premier League game against Aston Villa,’ read a statement from the FA on Wednesday.

‘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.

‘Reece James has until Friday, 29 September, to provide a response to this charge.’

Chelsea’s 1-0 loss to Villa at Stamford Bridge is just the latest low point for the Blues, who have won just one of their opening six Premier League games this term.

Head coach Mauricio Pochettino is already under significant pressure and some have speculated that he could lose his job if Chelsea fail to win their next two Premier League games against Fulham and Burnley respectively.

Things are not much better off the pitch, with Chelsea’s hierarchy also attracting plenty of criticism for how they are running the club.

Chelsea have spent over £1 billion on transfers since co-owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Eghbali took over from Roman Abramovich but they have hugely struggled with a 12th-place finish last term before this season’s slow start.

‘It’s a mystery as to what’s happening at Chelsea,’ Gary Neville said about the west Londoners on Sunday. ‘Sometimes chaos just flows throughout a club. I think there will be some changes in how they go about their business. I can’t see this lasting in terms of how it’s being run. It’s madness.’

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