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FA charge Williamson


Mike Williamson

Mike Williamson

Mike Williamson

Newcastle defender Mike Williamson has been charged with violent conduct following an off-the-ball challenge on Bolton striker Johan Elmander.

The former Portsmouth player faces a three-match ban if he either admits or is convicted of the offence.

A Football Association statement said: "Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson has been charged with violent conduct. The charge relates to an incident involving Johan Elmander in his side's fixture with Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, November 20."

It added: "Williamson has until 6pm on Tuesday, November 23 to reply to the charge and under the FA's fast-track regulations, may admit the charge and accept a standard three-match suspension."

Williamson was charged after match referee Howard Webb reviewed video footage of the incident, in which the defender and the striker collided during the Magpies' 5-1 defeat at the Reebok Stadium.

Webb, who later sent off Newcastle's Argentina international Fabricio Coloccini after he felled Elmander with a flailing arm, did not see the clash at the time, but having watched replays, indicated he would have produced a red card had he done so.

The Magpies were not commenting on the charge on Monday night, but it is understood they are considering their options.

Should Williamson, 27, be subject to a similar punishment, manager Chris Hughton faces heading into Sunday's league encounter with leaders Chelsea without the two men who have played at the heart of his defence for all 14 league games to date.

He has veteran Sol Campbell and the fit-again Steven Taylor waiting in the wings, but the former Arsenal man has had little football in recent weeks while Taylor is yet to appear this season.

Campbell's only start for his new club came in the 4-3 Carling Cup third-round victory at Chelsea on September 22.