London, England – Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic was charged by the English FA on Tuesday for punching Wigan forward Shaun Maloney on Saturday in an English Premier League match.
Ivanovic ran up behind Maloney and struck him in the back, but it was not seen by officials. The FA has charged the Serbia defender with violent conduct, and Ivanovic has until Wednesday to respond to the charge.
The 28-year-old faces a three-match ban if found guilty, meaning he would miss Saturday's FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham on Sunday. Ivanovic has appeared in 26 league games this season and has three goals and an assist.