FA dismisses Ivanovic's conduct appeal
Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will miss Sunday's FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham and two key matches in the team's Premier League run-in after his appeal against a charge of violent conduct was dismissed.
Ivanovic was charged by the Football Association after video footage emerged of him punching Wigan forward Shaun Maloney in Chelsea's 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
''A regulatory commission heard the claim today and Ivanovic's three-match suspension will commence with immediate effect,'' the FA said in a statement.
The ban deprives Chelsea of one its best defenders at a vital part of the season, with Ivanovic also missing league games against third-place Arsenal and west London rival Queens Park Rangers, which is fighting to avoid relegation.
With five matches remaining, Chelsea is sixth in the standings and in danger of missing out on a top-four finish that secures Champions League football next season.
Ashley Cole missed Monday's 1-1 draw at Fulham with an ankle injury and is reported to be a serious doubt for Sunday while another defender, captain John Terry, is playing through pain after cracking two ribs in a recent match.
Jose Bosingwa is likely to replace Ivanovic at right back this weekend.