Chelsea defender Ivanovic loses violent conduct appeal

Chelsea right-back Branislav Ivanovic has had his appeal against a charge of violent conduct rejected by the Football Association, ruling the Serbia international out of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final match with Tottenham Hotspur and two further Premier League fixtures, the Daily Telegraph has reported.

Ivanovic was cited for striking Wigan Athletic winger Shaun Maloney during Chelsea’s 2-1 Easter weekend win over Roberto Martinez’s side. The Telegraph adds that while Chelsea accept there was an altercation between Ivanovic and Maloney, the club argued it did not constitute violent conduct.

Chelsea also pointed out in a statement released after Ivanovic’s three-game suspension was upheld that the FA did not deem the club’s appeal to be frivolous and enforce an extra game’s ban, as the governing body has a right to do. Chelsea used the lack of a further punishment to argue their case had merit despite its rejection by the FA.

Ivanovic will miss not only the weekend match with Spurs but also two Premier League London derbies, the first a contest which will have ramifications for Chelsea’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League next season, against Arsenal, and the second a local skirmish with relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers. Ivanovic will however be available to play Barcelona in the Champions League.

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