Chelsea’s attacking options will grow thinner if striker Fernando Torres receives a lengthy ban for his actions in Saturday’s Premier League game against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
According to ESPN FC, Torres will receive at least a one-match ban for a red card that he received in the 81st minute, “but the incident that could lead to him being banned for an extra three matches came in the same confrontation that saw him receive his first booking. He tripped [Tottenham defender Jan] Vertonghen but then appeared to scratch at the defender’s face.”
ESPN FC also reports that “what happened will now be reviewed by the Premier League and FA’s new video panel of former referees — and if they rule that it constituted violent conduct, it could lead to a charge and the additional ban.”
Losing Torres for more than one game would be a major setback to a Chelsea attack, which has scored only 1.16 goals per game during league play this season. The Blues’ inability to score goals consistently has resulted in two draws and a defeat through six league games.
The 29-year-old is the club’s most talented striker and gave a brilliant performance at White Hart Lane, but a four-match ban would cause him to miss important league matchups versus Norwich City, Cardiff City and Manchester City, in addition to a Capital One Cup fourth round game against Arsenal.
Any ban from the FA would not prevent Torres from playing in UEFA Champions League competition.
The alleged scratch can be seen in the video below.