Arsenal’s English midfielder Jack Wilshere
The Football Association (FA) announced on Tuesday that Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been charged over an alleged offensive gesture during his side’s Premier League defeat at Manchester City last Saturday.
Television pictures showed Wilshere raising his middle finger – apparently towards home supporters – during the Premier League leaders’ heavy 6-3 loss to City at the Etihad Stadium.
The England international, 21, has until 6 pm (1800 GMT) on Wednesday to respond to the charge.
“Arsenal midfield player Jack Wilshere has been charged by the FA with making an offensive and/or insulting and/or abusive gesture,” read a statement from the FA.
“The charge follows an alleged gesture made during the fixture between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday 14 December. The incident was not seen by match officials, but was caught on video.”
Wilshere has been charged under a new FA pilot project enabling a three-man disciplinary panel to review footage of incidents not seen by the match officials and advise if action needs to be taken.
The FA added: “For an FA charge to follow, all three panel members must agree it is a sending-off offence. In this instance, the panel were unanimous.”
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was suspended for one match, fined £20,000 ($32,500, 23,600) and warned as to his future conduct after making a similar gesture to opposition fans following a 1-0 defeat at Fulham two years ago.
A one-game suspension would rule Wilshere out of his side’s clash with second-place Chelsea on Monday.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said after the game against City that the club would accept any disciplinary action taken against Wilshere, “if he did it”.