Chelsea’s Ivanovic to avoid first team ban after red card

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will not miss any first team games following his sending off against Manchester City in Sunday’s Community Shield as the Football Association have confirmed they do not view the fixture as a first team game, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

The governing body’s stance means Ivanovic will only be banned for reserve team matches, allowing manager Roberto Di Matteo to include the Serbia international in his squad for Chelsea’s first Premier League match of the season against Wigan Athletic this weekend. Ivanovic is currently the only senior right-back on Chelsea’s books.

The loophole was put in place by the FA six years ago after both Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney missed the start of the new campaign following red cards in pre-season matches.

Ivanovic was dismissed shortly before half-time for a challenge of Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov. Chelsea were leading at the time but after the break City recovered to run out 3-2 winners.

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