FA rejects Chelsea appeal against James ban

Reece James is shown a red card against Brighton

Chelsea have had their attempts to overturn Reece James’ ban for a red card rejected by the Football Association.

The Blues captain, 24, will miss the first three matches of next season as it was sent off for violent conduct, after fouling Brighton striker Joao Pedro last month.

James was banned for four matches in all, including Chelsea’s final-day win over Bournemouth, having earned an additional one-game ban as a result of it being his second red card of the season.

Chelsea’s appeal claimed James was “disoriented” after being fouled from behind and that Pedro “made contact” first as he ran past, adding: “it had not been his intention to harm Mr Pedro, he was simply pushing him away with his foot”.

The FA rejected the appeal – having not found the account of the defender “persuasive” – and did not accept that he was disorientated as he caught the Brazilian just below his knee, describing the action as “unnecessary” and rejecting the claim that he was simply “pushing” Pedro away.

There will be no further right to appeal for James – who also missed out on selection for Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2024 training squad.

Chelsea earned more cautions than any club in Premier League history last season, which former boss Mauricio Pochettino put down to ill-discipline, with Enzo Maresca set to be named his successor for the upcoming campaign.