The incident happened after Sunday’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa, in which James was not involved due to injury. The match official was Jarred Gillett, who James is said to have confronted in the tunnel after the game which Chelsea lost thanks to Ollie Watkin’s late goal.
A statement read: “Reece James has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 following Chelsea’s Premier League game against Aston Villa on Sunday, 24 September.
“It’s alleged that the defender used improper and/or insulting and/or abusive words and/or behaviour towards a match official in the tunnel after the game. Reece James has until Friday, 29 September, to provide a response to this charge.”
James is not expected back from injury until late in October.
Chelsea face Brighton tonight in the Carabao Cup before making the short trip to Fulham on Monday for a Premier League derby. A longer trip to Burnley awaits five days later before the international break.