FA finger charge for Wilshere could cost Arsenal dear

Jack Wilshere Arsenal

Midfielder faces ban after obscene gesture towards Man City fans on Saturday

LAST UPDATED AT 08:46 ON Wed 18 Dec 2013

JACK WILSHERE has been charged by the Football Association after allegedly giving the finger to Manchester City supporters on Saturday. The Arsenal midfielder made what appeared to be an abusive hand gesture during the second-half of the Gunner's 6-3 thrashing by the Sky Blues at the Etihad.

Though the officials missed Wilshere's one-fingered salute at the time, it was caught on camera and the FA have now decided to act.

"Wilshere has been charged retrospectively by the FA under a new pilot project for potential 'not seen' incidents in Premier League matches," it said in a statement issued on Tuesday evening. "Under the new process, if an incident has not been seen by the match officials, a three-man panel will be asked by the FA to review it and advise what, if any action, they believe the match referee should have taken had it been witnessed at the time."

The FA will only charge a player with misconduct if all three panel members are unanimous in believing the incident worthy of a red card. The statement ended by stating that this was the case concerning Wilshere's alleged indiscretion.

The 21-year-old Wilshere has until 6pm tonight to respond but with the video offence before him it's unlikely the England star will contest the charges.

If Wilshere apologies and accepts he made an error of judgment, he could escape with a hefty fine and a one-match ban, as did Liverpool striker Luis Suarez when he made a similar gesture against Fulham in 2011. However, Blackpool star Thomas Ince was hit with a two-match ban when he let his finger do the talking during a match earlier this season.

Arsenal play Chelsea on Monday and then West Ham away on Boxing Day so Arsene Wenger will be hoping the punishment is as light as possible though the Arsenal manager acknowledged after the alleged incident there is no place in the game for obscene gesturing.

Meanwhile former Arsenal defender turned TV pundit Martin Keown told the Daily Telegraph. "It's unfortunate that Jack Wilshere is involved in that sort of thing, and Wenger is right, it needs to be stamped on." · 

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