Patrick Bamford is set to receive a two-match ban after duping referee Stuart Attwell into sending off Aston Villa’s Anwar El Ghazi - but Villa midfielder Conor Hourihane will face no further action for throwing a punch at Mateusz Klich.
The Football Association has overturned El Ghazi’s 72nd-minute dismissal during Sunday’s match at Elland Road and charged Bamford with deceiving Attwell after the striker fell to the ground clutching his face despite El Ghazi failing to make contact with him.
The paid clashed after Klich opened the scoring with a goal taken while Villa forward Jonathan Kodjia lay injured on the halfway line.
Fighting broke out between both sets of players and El Ghazi was shown a straight red card by Attwell. The official booked both Bamford and Hourihane for their part in the scuffle but video footage left the United striker open to accusations of simulation.
The FA confirmed today that Attwell had failed to spot a separate incident in which Hourihane appeared to throw a punch at Klich’s stomach but said a panel of three former referees ruled that the incident did not amount to violent conduct.
Bamford has until 6pm tomorrow to respond but a two-game suspension - the standard punishment introduced by the FA for diving last season - would rule him out of the first leg of the Championship play-off semi-finals.
Leeds have one regular fixture to fulfil, away at Ipswich Town on Sunday, before the play-offs begin.
An FA statement read: “Anwar El Ghazi will be available for Aston Villa’s next three matches after a claim of wrongful dismissal was upheld by an Independent Regulatory Commission. The forward was sent off for violent conduct during the EFL Championship fixture against Leeds United on Sunday.
“Patrick Bamford has subsequently been charged with ‘successful deception of a match official’. It is alleged the Leeds United player’s behaviour in the 72nd minute of the fixture, which involved committing a clear act of simulation that led to Anwar El Ghazi being dismissed, amounts to improper conduct.”
United have made no comment on the announcement but the decision to cite Bamford and not Hourihane will frustrate officials at Elland Road.
The club were similarly aggrieved in October after the FA failed to punish Brentford’s Sergi Canos for an apparent headbutt on Gjanni Alioski at Elland Road. United defender Pontus Jansson was hit with a one-game ban after that game for comments made about referee Jeremy Simpson.
Leeds and Villa, meanwhile, have both been charged with failing to control their players during the brawl which broke after Klich’s goal.
United have already been cited for that offence once before this season and received a £5,000 fine after a flare-up against Bolton Wanderers in February. Both clubs have until 6pm on Friday to respond.
Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa diffused Sunday’s furore by allowing Villa’s Albert Adomah to walk in an unopposed equaliser. The game finished 1-1.