Port Vale midfielder Andreas Lipa has been given 14 days to respond after the Football Association charged him with racially abusing Plymouth's Jason Bent.
The Austrian could receive a lengthy ban for taunting Bent during a game between the two sides last month.
Lipa was expected to avoid FA action after being fined a week's wages by the club, which went to an anti-racism charity.
He apologised for his behaviour towards Bent after Vale's 5-1 home defeat, which took place on the same day that the club held a Vale against racism day.
Both Bent and Plymouth accepted the apology and agreed to take no further official action, but the FA has decided to step in after receiving the referee's report.
The club have said the player will be available for their FA Cup tie at Ford United despite a separate dispute over his contract.