Martin Skrtel
Martin Skrtel and David de Gea clashed in the final moments of the Liverpool v Manchester United game Getty

Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel has insisted his stamp on Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea during the 2-1 home defeat on 22 March was an "accident" and unintentional.

After the Football Association charged him following images that showed how the Slovakia international stood on the Spaniard's right shin later on the game, the defender denied any malice but was later suspended for three games.

The FA independent commission rejected his appeal and found him guilty of violent conduct, banning him for the next three matches, meaning he will miss games against Arsenal and Newcastle United in the league, and the FA Cup quarter-final replay with Blackburn Rovers.

But the 30-year-old defender insists he does not understand the FA's decision. "It feels strange because we appealed against those charges and still I was hit by a three-match ban," he said.

"I didn't want to stamp on him. It was an accident and I didn't do it on purpose. I don't feel guilty. It was a long ball and he went towards me and I wanted to jump over him. Simple as that."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers backed the defender after the game, claiming Skrtel was "not that type of player".

But the Slovakia international, who is preparing for a Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Luxembourg on 27 March, will not be able to return to action with Liverpool until the Premier League game at Hull on 18 April.

He joins captain Steven Gerrard, who will also miss the next three games after being sent off against Manchester United for stamping on Ander Herrera less than a minute after coming on as a half-time substitute.

Furthermore, Adam Lallana and Daniel Sturridge's availability for the visit to Arsenal on 4 April is also uncertain after they withdrew from the England squad due to injuries.