Chelsea defender Ivanovic escapes ban for Community Shield red card

The Serbian right-back was sent off for a reckless tackle on Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov, but will not face a suspension after a previous rule change
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has escaped a ban for his reckless challenge on Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov in the Community Shield that earned him a red card.

The Serbian will be free to face Wigan on the opening day of the Premier League season because the FA changed their rules two years ago after an incident where both Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes were sent off in a pre-season tournament in Amsterdam, and both served three-match bans that ran into the English season.

The rule change covers all non-competitive pre-season fixtures, which includes the Community Shield. Additionally, yellow cards shown to Frank Lampard, Ramires, Ryan Bertrand, Ashley Cole and Manchester City players Costel Pantilimon, Stefan Savic and Vincent Kompany will not count towards their tally for the domestic season.

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While there were initial protests on the pitch from some Chelsea players, goalkeeper Petr Cech has admitted that Ivanovic's tackle merited a red card.

"I saw Iva going in for the ball but his leg was over the ball, so it was a bit high and if he caught him, then it's a red card, that's what the referees have told us in meetings we have had," Cech told the club's official website.

"There was no intention to hurt the player, but the tackle happened and so it was probably a red card."