Ivanovic charged with violent conduct

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has been charged with violent conduct by the Football Association for an incident in the game against Wigan Athletic at the weekend, the FA said in a statement on Tuesday.

Television replays showed the Serbian international lashing out at Wigan's Shaun Maloney in an off the ball incident unseen by the match officials during Chelsea's 2-1 victory in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Ivanovic faces a suspension if he is found guilty by the FA.

Chelsea have a hectic schedule of fixtures coming up in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup and losing Ivanovic would represent a major blow.

The Serb has excelled at right-back this season and if he is banned the Londoners would have to bring in Jose Bosingwa or Paulo Ferreira as a replacement.

Chelsea play Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday before meeting holders Barcelona in the first leg of a Champions League semi-final at Stamford Bridge three days later.

Ivanovic has until Wednesday to respond to the charge.