Chelsea and Spain striker Diego Costa could find himself in hot water after he appeared to bite an opponent during Saturday’s 2-0 FA Cup defeat to Everton.
Costa’s duel with Gareth Barry came to a head when he reacted badly to a challenge from the midfielder and burrowed his face into his opponent’s neck, with television pictures showing the former Atletico Madrid man to possibly plant a bite.
“Diego spoke to club officials and expressed regret over his reaction to the challenge from Barry that led to his red card,” Chelsea wrote on their official Twitter account.
“But Diego was also very clear that he did not bite him at any point during that altercation.”
Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink added via BBC Sport: “[Costa] was chased a bit in the game by Everton. They went after him. They knew it. It is within the rules.
“As a referee you have to protect the situation, but knowing and feeling this atmosphere.
“I try to be fair in my judgement and it is difficult for me to say yes or no so I don’t want to give judgement on this.”
The British Press have been quick to compare Costa’s conduct with that of Luis Suarez, the Barcelona forward being accused of biting on three occasions in the past.
Suarez was banned for nine international games by FIFA as a result of his last demeanour, which took place at the 2014 World Cup in a group match against Italy.
Costa, who was sent off for his initial reaction to Barry’s challenge, is also suspected to have spat at the feet of referee Michael Oliver.