Vidic banned for UCL clash with Inter Milan
Nemanja Vidic will miss the first leg of Manchester United's Champions League tie with Inter Milan after being suspended for one match following his red card in the Club World Cup final.
Vidic was dismissed for swinging an elbow into the face of LDU Quito's Claudio Bieler in Yokohama on December 21.
The Serbia star was facing the possibility of a three-game suspension but a FIFA disciplinary panel today confirmed a one-match ban.
United have no right of appeal and Vidic has also been fined 5,000 Swiss francs (£2,985).
Under FIFA's disciplinary system, Vidic is suspended from the next 'club competition match at confederation level'.
That effectively means the Champions League, ruling the former Red Star Belgrade player out of the first leg against Inter at the San Siro on February 24.
The punishment will doubtless come as a blow to Inter boss Jose Mourinho, who claimed Vidic should have been ruled out of both games.
United will probably consider the suspension in line with what they had expected, although AC Milan's Kakha Kaladze did not receive any punishment for his dismissal in the same tournament two years earlier.
The impact will be softened significantly by the recent return to fitness of Rio Ferdinand from a back problem. Ferdinand came back at West Brom last Tuesday, while earlier today Ferguson stated he expected Vidic's likely replacement Jonny Evans to be out for only two more weeks with his ankle injury.
It means Evans should be available for the Old Trafford encounter with Fulham which has been pushed back a day to Wednesday, February 18, six days before the Inter tie.