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Brighton logo
Premier League | Gameweek 34
May 15, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
The American Express Community Stadium
Chelsea logo

1 - 2

Welbeck (90+7')
Dunk (29'), Verbruggen (81')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Palmer (34'), Nkunku (64')
Sterling (77'), Caicedo (79')
James (88')

Chelsea defender to miss start of next season as FA appeal rejected

Chelsea defender to miss start of next season as FA appeal rejected
© Reuters
Reece James will miss the first three games of the 2024-25 Premier League season after the Football Association dismissed Chelsea's efforts to have his ban overturned.

Reece James will miss the first three games of the 2024-25 Premier League season after the Football Association dismissed Chelsea's efforts to have his ban overturned.

The 24-year-old full-back received a red card in the Blues' penultimate game of the season against Brighton & Hove Albion for kicking out at Seagulls forward Joao Pedro.

Owing to that being James' second red card of the campaign, a four-match ban followed, which saw him miss Mauricio Pochettino's final game in charge of the Blues against Bournemouth.

Chelsea announced the signing of the now-former Leicester City manager Enzo Maresca earlier this week following the departure of the Argentine.

James is now set to miss the new manager's first three league games in charge despite the club's best efforts to overturn the ban.

Chelsea's Reece James leaves the pitch after being shown a red card by referee Simon Hooper on November 25, 2023© Reuters

FA reject Blues' appeal to overturn James' suspension

According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea's appeal asserted that James was "disoriented" after being fouled from behind and that Pedro "made contact" first as he ran past.

Additionally, it stated: "It had not been his intention to harm Mr. Pedro; he was simply pushing him away with his foot."

Unfortunately, the FA's independent regulatory commission unanimously rejected this justification, upholding James's four-game ban since it was his second red card of the season.

As part of their reasoning for rejecting the appeal, the FA stated: "The account of Mr. James was not persuasive. It is evident from the video evidence that Mr. James does kick out at the opposing player, catching him below the left knee. It was not accepted that he was in some way disoriented. The player was running away from him. This was not merely a coming together."

"Moreover, it was not accepted that he simply used his leg to push the opposing player away. It is clear from the video evidence that he kicked out at the opposing player with a straight left leg. It was unnecessary and amounted to an act of violent conduct. The appeal was dismissed."

Reece James suffers an injury on December 29, 2021© Reuters

Reece James set to miss start of 2024-25 season

The decision comes as another setback for James, who made just 10 appearances in the Premier League last season, partly due to suspension but largely due to injury.

Of those 10 matches, the 24-year-old defender started only five and his limited time on the pitch resulted in him missing out on a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad for Euro 2024 in Germany.

In the 2023-24 season, Chelsea faced significant issues with discipline, accumulating more cautions than any other club in Premier League history.

The Blues ended the campaign in sixth place but will have to settle for a spot in the Conference League next season following Manchester United's FA Cup triumph.

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Chelsea's Nicolas Jackson celebrates scoring their second goal with Reece James on November 6, 2023
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