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Ivanovic appeal dismissed

Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has had his appeal against a charge of violent conduct dismissed following an incident in Saturday's win over Wigan at Stamford Bridge.

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In the second half of the Blues' 2-1 victory, footage showed Ivanovic apparently punch opponent Shaun Maloney in the side in the build up to Juan Mata's winning goal, but referee Michael Jones did not see the incident.

On Tuesday, the FA reviewed the footage and found Ivanovic guilty of violent conduct, meaning he faces a three-match suspension, which will commence immediately.

A statement on the FA website read: " Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic's appeal against an FA charge for violent conduct has been dismissed.

"The incident, which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video, occurred during his side's game against Wigan at Stamford Bridge on Saturday 7 April 2012. A Regulatory Commission heard the claim today and Ivanovic's three match suspension will commence with immediate effect."

Ivanovic will miss Sunday's London derby at Wembley and the club's next two league games - Arsenal away on April 21, and their home game against QPR eight days later. He will be available for Wednesday's Champions League semi-final clash against Barcelona as the ban covers domestic games only.

The FA Regulatory Commission who made the decision decided against extending the defender's ban to four games.

The Serb admitted there had been contact with Maloney, but denied that it had been ''violent'' in any way.

A Chelsea statement read: ''Chelsea Football Club is disappointed the FA Regulatory Commission today (Thursday) found Branislav Ivanovic guilty of violent conduct in Saturday's Premier League match against Wigan. Chelsea FC does not believe the incident was violent. We note that the FA did not deem our appeal frivolous and it therefore had merit.''

Blues interim manager Roberto Di Matteo has two other options at right-back in the form of Jose Bosingwa and Paulo Ferreira, however Bosingwa has struggled for form this campaign and veteran Portugal full-back Ferreira has only appeared six times for the Londoners this year.


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