Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton was charged today with violent conduct by the Football Association (FA) after appearing to punch Blackburn Rovers' Morten Gamst Perdersen.
The 28-year-old was charged by the FA after referee Mike Jones viewed video evidence of the incident, which he did not see when it took place in the 50th minute of Rovers' 2-1 Premier League win at St James' Park on Wednesday.
An FA statement said: "Newcastle United FC midfielder Joey Barton has today (Thursday) been charged with violent conduct by the FA following an incident in his side's fixture with Blackburn Rovers FC on Wednesday, 10 November.
"Barton has until 6pm on Friday 12 November to reply to the charge and under the FA's fast-track regulations, may admit the charge and accept a standard three-match suspension."
Barton has had several previous run-ins with football disciplinary chiefs and Newcastle manager Chris Hughton was concerned the player's record might lead him to be judged more harshly than he deserved on this occasion.
"I have seen it again and I am aware that he has raised his hands, but I am also very conscious that because it's Joey Barton, there will be far more made of it than any other individual," Hughton told reporters on Thursday.
"This is an individual who not so long ago the television was showing him being kicked from pillar to post around a football ground."
If Barton admits to the offence or is banned, he will miss Saturday's match at home to Fulham, next weekend's trip to Bolton and the visit of champions Chelsea to St James' on 28 November.
Barton's conduct has led to him previously being jailed for six months after admitting common assault and affray in 2008 following a late-night incident in Liverpool city centre.
In 2004 he stubbed a lit cigar into the eye of then Manchester City team-mate Jamie Tandy during the club's Christmas party. Three years later he was suspended by City after a training ground clash with Ousmane Dabo that left his team-mate needing hospital treatment.