Markovic given four-match European ban

Liverpool midfielder Lazar Markovic has been handed a four-match ban by UEFA after his sending off against Basel in the Champions League in December, Sky Sports has reported.

The Serb was controversially shown a straight red card in the crucial match against the Swiss champions for striking Behrang Safari in the face with a flailing arm, just 15 minutes after coming on as a substitute. The 1-0 defeat in that encounter saw the Reds drop out of the Champions League and into the Europa League.

Markovic will now miss both legs of the Round of 32 clash with Besiktas, the first of which will take place at Anfield on Thursday evening. Should the Reds make it through the last 16 he would also miss both legs of that, while defeat against the Turkish club would mean the final two games of the suspension would be carried over to next season.

The normal punishment for violent conduct is three games, but UEFA have added another due to his dismissal in the Europa League semi-final last season while representing Benfica for his part in a brawl. That meant he missed the final defeat to Sevilla.

Reacting to the news, Markovic posted a message on Twitter that read 4? Accompanied by an image of himself after seeing red against Basel.

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