English striker Jamie Vardy faces having his mandatory one-match ban lengthened, potentially ruling the striker out of more of Leicester’s title run-in, after he was charged on Monday by the English Football Association over his angry reaction to a red card.
The Premier League’s joint top scorer was sent off during Sunday’s draw with West Ham after being booked twice, the second time for diving in the penalty area after tangling with Angelo Ogbonna.
Vardy confronted referee Jon Moss, jabbing a finger at the match official while appearing to express his anger at receiving his first red card of the season.
The FA’s improper conduct charge means Vardy is likely to miss at least two of Leicester’s last four league games if he is found guilty.
Vardy had netted his 22nd goal of the campaign in the first half to put Leicester in front before being dismissed 11 minutes into the second half.
Leicester has also been charged by the FA with failing to control its players over the reaction to a penalty being awarded in the 84th minute, which led to Andy Carroll’s equalizer.
Although Aaron Cresswell put West Ham in front, Leicester equalized deep in stoppage time when it was awarded a soft penalty that substitute Leonardo Ulloa converted.
Leicester and Vardy have until Thursday afternoon to respond to the FA charges.
Leicester’s remaining games in its pursuit of a first-ever top flight title are against Swansea, Manchester United, Everton and Chelsea. Leicester had an eight-point lead over Tottenham ahead of the second-place London club playing Stoke on Monday.
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri now has to consider how to reconfigure the team without Vardy. One option is to partner Shinji Okazaki with Ulloa if Ranieri sticks with his favored 4-4-2 formation. Okazaki has netted only six goals this season, while Ulloa’s penalty took his tally to four.
“It was a difficult moment because we were down to 10 men, but we defended well and then attacked when we could,” Ulloa said. “I love to play with this team because they have this character when we are losing or in a bad situation. We are always fighting together. We are a team and that is more important, not for me but for everyone.”