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Reece James banned for Chelsea's first three games of 2024/25 season after red card vs Brighton

Chelsea defender Reece James pictured leaving the field after being sent off during his team's 2-1 win at Brighton

Reece James was sent off during Chelsea’s 2-1 win at Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday night and must now serve a four-game ban.

James had already missed 27 of Chelsea’s 37 Premier League games this season due to a combination of injury and disciplinary issues.

He will also now sit out Sunday’s season finale against Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge.

James was shown a straight red card in the 88th minute on Wednesday after a VAR review found him guilty of violent conduct.

The Chelsea captain was fouled by Joao Pedro before he retaliated by kicking the Brighton striker.

Chelsea were 2-0 up when James was dismissed - thanks to strikes from Cole Palmer and Christopher Nkunku.

Brighton later pulled a goal back deep into stoppage time courtesy of Danny Welbeck.

As quoted by Daily Briefing columnist Ben Jacobs via X.com, Mauricio Pochettino said of the James red card after Wednesday’s game: “I didn’t see it in front of me or on the TV so it’s difficult to give my opinion.

“It’s painful for us because he’s a really important player and we had a fantastic night, but now he’s going to miss the next game and [three] games next season.”

The standard punishment for a red card issued for violent conduct is a three-match suspension.

However, James will be banned for four games because he had already been sent off this season prior to Wednesday’s dismissal.

James was sent off in a 4-1 loss at Newcastle in December after collecting two yellow cards.

He served a one-match ban for that misdemeanour.

That was his second suspension of the season after he had earlier sat out one game for using “improper, abusive and insulting” words and behaviour towards a match official following Chelsea's 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa in October.

The 24-year-old’s most recent ban applies to all senior domestic matches.

He will therefore be unavailable to play in Chelsea’s first three Premier League fixtures in the 2024/25 season.

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