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Chelsea’s Ivanovic avoids ban despite sending-off

Ivanovic was shown the red card during Chelsea’s defeat to Manchester City

AFP, Monday 13 Aug 2012
Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic (3rd R) holds his head after being shown a red card by referee Kevin Friend during their Community Shield soccer match against Manchester City at Villa Park in Birmingham (Photo: Reuters)
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Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has been told that he will not face any suspension despite being sent off in Sunday's Community Shield defeat to Manchester City at Villa Park.

Serbian international Ivanovic was shown a straight red card by referee Kevin Friend just before half time in the 3-2 defeat after catching fellow countryman Aleksandar Kolarov with a high tackle.

It was thought Ivanovic would be banned for three matches as a result, starting with Chelsea's opening Premier League fixture away to Wigan Athletic this coming Sunday.

However, a FA rule change in 2006 has spared him.

The Football Association reviewed their rules after an incident during the pre-season Amsterdam Tournament that year, when Manchester United pair Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney were both sent off against Porto and ended up serving three-match suspensions.

The rule change covered all non-competitive pre-season fixtures, and included the Community Shield, meaning the 28-year-old will be free to play at the DW Stadium.

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