Richarlison responds after being hit with FA charge over controversial Chelsea flare celebration

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Everton forward Richarlison has been hit with a Football Association (FA) charge of improper conduct following his controversial goal celebration against Chelsea last month.

The Brazilian international courted criticism after scoring a second-half winner in the Premier League fixture at Goodison Park on May 1, a crucial result that proved important in sparking an escape from disastrous relegation for Frank Lampard’s side.

Richarlison celebrated netting the only goal of the game shortly after half-time by picking up a lit blue smoke flare that had been hurled onto the pitch from the Gwladys Street End, carrying it and then launching it back into a section of the stands where there were no supporters situated.

No action was taken on the day by match referee Kevin Friend, with Everton insisting they would look into the incident but expressing their belief that Richarlison was merely attempting to throw the flare out of the stadium.

The FA quickly launched an investigation and confirmed on Wednesday (June 1) that the 25-year-old had now been charged with a breach of Rule E3 relating to alleged improper conduct. He has one week to respond.

Former Watford star Richarlison, believed to be a summer transfer target for the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea with his Everton future in doubt, responded to news of the charge by moments later tweeting a captionless picture of himself holding the flare.

Pyrotechnics are prohibited from stadiums in the UK, but have once again become a regular fixture at matches over recent years.

The FA spoke to Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott back in February after he was pictured holding a flare during the celebrations in the aftermath of the Carabao Cup final victory over Chelsea at Wembley.

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