Sergio Aguero will definitely be absent for Manchester City's derby clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday 10 September after being handed a three-match ban by The Football Association (FA) for violent conduct. The Argentine striker was accused of elbowing Winston Reid during last weekend's 3-1 home Premier League victory over West Ham United in an incident missed by referee Andre Marriner.
The fact that it was not seen by match officials but caught on camera meant that the issue was then referred to a three-man panel, who unanimously agreed that retrospective action should be taken. Aguero was subsequently charged by the FA, with the initial deadline for his response set at 18.00 BST on Wednesday (31 August). However, he was later granted an additional 24 hours due to the date being the final day of the summer transfer window.
It emerged in widespread reports last night that City planned to contest the charge while also claiming that a ban of three games would be too harsh a punishment. An independent regulatory commission confirmed Aguero's suspension on Friday, although, as expected, declined to extend the suspension by an extra match due to a frivolous appeal. That particular rule is typically no longer enforced.
"Sergio Aguero will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after an FA charge of violent conduct against him was found proven," English football's governing body confirmed in a statement released via its official website. "The Manchester City forward was involved in a 76th-minute incident with West Ham United's Winston Reid on Sunday, which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.
"The club denied the charge and submitted further that, if it was to be found proven, the standard punishment would be clearly excessive. On finding the charge proven at a hearing today, an Independent Regulatory Commission went on to reject the club's further claim to decrease the three-match ban."
In addition to the Manchester derby, Aguero, who has already scored six goals in four appearances under Pep Guardiola, will also be sidelined for the top-flight visit of Bournemouth and City's EFL Cup third-round trip to Swansea City. There is a reasonable chance that the 28-year-old would have been absent anyway, given that he recently withdrew from Edgardo Bauza's Argentina squad for 2018 Conmebol World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Venezuela due to a calf injury suffered in the latter stages of that win over West Ham.