London: Liverpool's Martin Skrtel will serve a three-game suspension after losing his appeal against a charge for standing on Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea, the Football Association announced on Wednesday.
Liverpool's Martin Skrtel. Pic/AFP
The Slovakia centre-back, 30, was charged with violent conduct on the basis of video evidence after referee Martin Atkinson missed the incident, which occurred at the end of United's 2-1 win at Anfield on Sunday. Skrtel appealed against the charge, reportedly claiming that he had trodden on De Gea accidentally, but his explanation was rejected.
"Liverpool's Martin Skrtel will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after a charge of violent conduct against him was found proven," the FA said in a statement on its website. "The defender had denied the charge which related to an on-field incident involving Manchester United's David de Gea in the 95th minute of Sunday's game which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.
"However, an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today found the charge proven." Skrtel was chasing a ball into the United box in stoppage time of the Premier League game and when De Gea got there before him, he followed through by standing on the Spaniard's right shin.
He will miss Liverpool's Premier League games at Arsenal and at home to Newcastle United, as well as their FA Cup quarter-final replay away to second-tier Blackburn Rovers on April 8. Skrtel pre-empted the FA's announcement by posting a picture of three clowns on his Instagram page, alongside the caption: "..."