Ban stays, Courtois to miss City trip

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will miss Chelsea's trip to English Premier League title rivals Manchester City on Sunday after the English Football Association yesterday upheld his dismissal against Swansea City.
Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will miss Chelsea's trip to English Premier League title rivals Manchester City on Sunday after the English Football Association yesterday upheld his dismissal against Swansea City.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois will miss Chelsea's trip to English Premier League title rivals Manchester City on Sunday after the English Football Association yesterday upheld his dismissal against Swansea City.

Chelsea made a claim of wrongful dismissal after the Belgium international (above) was sent off for felling Bafetimbi Gomis on the edge of the area during his side's 2-2 draw with the Welsh club last Saturday.

But the FA found there were no grounds to overturn the decision, meaning Asmir Begovic will step in for Courtois at the Etihad Stadium.

"A claim of wrongful dismissal submitted by Chelsea in relation to Thibaut Courtois has been unsuccessful following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing earlier today (Tuesday)," the FA said in a statement.

"The goalkeeper was dismissed for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity in the 52nd minute of Chelsea's game against Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Aug 8, 2015.

"Therefore, the player's one-match suspension, which is the standard penalty for this offence, remains with immediate effect.

"For a club to be successful with a claim of wrongful dismissal, it must prove to an Independent Regulatory Commission via written and/or video evidence that the match referee made an obvious error."

The Belgian goalkeeper took to Twitter last Saturday evening to apologise and praise his team-mates for their efforts in the second half.

He wrote: "2-2, red card, not the start I expected. Sad to let the team down on that moment. They fought really hard till the end to win this game!"

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho refused to publicly blame his goalkeeper after the game but would not be drawn on Michael Oliver's decision to send the 23-year-old off and award the Swans a penalty.

"It's the first game of the season and I don't want to start now," he said. "I'm not going to talk about the penalty, I'm not going to talk about the red card. I don't comment.

"It's just because the first time I can control myself. I want to react this way so you don't say it was in day one. Yes, it was in day one that we were punished, but it was not in day one that I opened my mouth."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2015, with the headline 'Ban stays, Courtois to miss City trip'. Print Edition | Subscribe