England skipper Phil Vickery has been cited after appearing to trip USA centre Paul Emerick during their World Cup match in Lens on Saturday.
Vickery now faces a disciplinary hearing and could be banned for England's crunch Pool A game against South Africa in Paris on Friday.
The 31-year-old insists that he did not deliberately try to trip Emerick.
"It was unfortunate," said Vickery after England's 28-10 win.
"But there was certainly no malice from my part."
The incident went unnoticed by South African referee
Jonathan Kaplan, but Vickery has now been reported by the match citing commissioner Steven Heines.
Emerick, who has also been cited for a dangerous tackle on England fly-half Olly Barkley late on in the match, tried to play down the incident with Vickery after the encounter.
"The referee was behind the play and maybe he will look back on it and say 'maybe I missed a call there'," Emerick told BBC Sport.
"But hands go one way and legs go another, that is just the way the game goes. I am sure it was a reaction, rather than pre-meditated."
England fly-half Jonny Wilkinson is already a major doubt for Friday's crunch game with an ankle ligament injury and the loss of skipper Vickery would be another major blow to coach Brian Ashton.
If Vickery is banned then Brian Ashton is likely to turn to Bath prop Matt Stevens to fill the tight-head berth.
The England management have been informed of the citing and the disciplinary hearing is expected to take place within the next
An England statement said: "Captain Phil Vickery will attend the hearing with the squad's legal representative Richard Smith and a further comment will be made after the hearing is concluded."
Vickery, speaking on Saturday, outlined his version of events.
"I was back-tracking like a good prop forward, always looking for a corner flag, and unfortunately I tapped him," he added.
"I thought the game was played in a good spirit and I am glad there was no damage done to him or myself."
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