BERLIN, Aug 22 (Reuters) - Germany's Football Association handed Hamburg SV defender Guy Demel a four-match ban for violent conduct on Tuesday.
Demel, the Ivory Coast international, was sent off after grabbing Energie Cottbus captain Kevin McKenna around the neck with nine minutes to go in their 2-2 draw in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
The suspension will pose big problems for Hamburg coach Thomas Doll.
Demel, who usually plays at full-back, has been filling in at centre-back for Khalid Boulahrouz, who has completed a move from Hamburg to Chelsea.
Hamburg sold Daniel van Buyten, their other centre-back regular last season, to Bayern Munich before the start of the current campaign.
Hamburg play Osasuna in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier in Spain on Tuesday. The first match finished goalless.