Football: Branislav Ivanovic escapes further punishment, but Chelsea and Everton charged

Branislav Ivanovic (left) of Chelsea grapples with Everton's James McCarthy during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London on Feb 11, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Branislav Ivanovic (left) of Chelsea grapples with Everton's James McCarthy during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London on Feb 11, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Chelsea and Everton have been charged by the Football Association with failing to control their players, but Branislav Ivanovic will not face punishment over his clash with James McCarthy.

Blues defender Ivanovic tangled with Everton midfielder McCarthy during a mass brawl after Toffees star Gareth Barry was sent off in the 86th minute at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

A panel of former referees studied the incident, in which Ivanovic was accused of butting McCarthy on the back of his head, but decided it was not worthy of a red card. The FA also investigated claims made on social media that Ivanovic had bitten McCarthy. The organisation studied all video footage and contacted Everton, and found conclusively he had not done so.

However both clubs face disciplinary action for "failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and/or refrained from provocative behaviour". The two clubs have until Feb 17 to respond to the charge.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho had threatened to walk out of his post-match media conference when asked about the possible head-butt by Ivanovic. Mourinho, fined last month for saying there was a "clear campaign" against Chelsea, was not prepared to discuss the possibility the Serbian defender could face action.