Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been charged by The FA for “making an offensive and/or insulting and/or abusive gesture” during Arsenal’s 6-3 defeat in the Barclays Premier League at the Etihad against Manchester City.
Wilshere’s gesture was not seen by officials but was caught on television cameras in the 68th minute and appears to show Wilshere raising a single finger to the crowd in response to a decision to award City a goal kick.
The England midfielder has subsequently been charged retrospectively by The FA under a new pilot project for potential ‘not seen’ incidents in Premier League matches.
Under this new process, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel will be asked by The FA to review it and advise what, if any, action the match referee would have taken had it been witnessed at the time.
For an FA charge to follow all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence and in this particular incident the panel were unanimous.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger seemed almost resigned to a ban if a charge was forthcoming when asked about the incident:
“I don’t know if he did it. If he did it and he’s banned then we’ll have to accept it.” he said.
Wilshere has until 6pm on December 18 to respond to the charge and could potentially miss the Gunners’ crucial match against Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Monday December 23.