Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho will be suspended for a four-game spell that includes the high-profile Premier League clash with title rivals Tottenham Hotspur after the Football Association (FA) confirmed on Wednesday (4 January) that the Brazilian's claim for wrongful dismissal had failed.
Fernandinho's appeal related to the 32nd minute of City's 2-1 win over Burnley last weekend, when he was dismissed by referee Lee Mason for an ill-advised two-footed challenge on visiting midfielder Johann Berg Gudmundsson. It was the third time in just six matches across all competitions that the 31-year-old has been sent off.
He received two yellow cards during the penultimate Champions League Group C fixture at Borussia Monchengladbach in November and was also banished during the latter stages of a 3-1 home top-flight defeat at the hands of leaders Chelsea last month after clashing with Cesc Fabregas, during unsavoury scenes that followed Sergio Aguero's ugly tackle on David Luiz.
Fernandinho missed outings against Celtic, Leicester City, Watford and Arsenal as a result of those offences and will now be sidelined for FA Cup and league meetings with West Ham that are sandwiched between ties against Everton and Mauricio Pochettino's Spurs.
"Fernandinho will serve a four-match suspension with immediate effect after his claim of wrongful dismissal was rejected today [Wednesday 4 January 2017] following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing," the FA said in an official statement.
"The Manchester City midfielder was sent off for serious foul play during the game against Burnley on Monday 2 January 2017. His suspension includes the standard sanction of an additional game as it was his second dismissal of the season."
Asked for his response to Fernandinho's latest red card in an awkward post-match interview with the BBC, City boss Pep Guardiola, who has already lost Ilkay Gundogan for the rest of the season due to a cruciate ligament injury, said: "You are the journalist. Not me... Ask the referee – not me."
When pushed as to whether he feels the player has a problem with discipline, he added: "We will accept. Like I said before, the team with more ball possession we have always sending off. I have to understand the rules here in England. I know you are specialist but I have to understand it."