Football

FA rejects Liverpool's appeal to reduce Mane's three-match ban

Liverpool have lost an appeal over the length of Sadio Mane's three-match ban after the forward was sent off during last Saturday's 5-0 defeat by Manchester City.

The Football Association said yesterday that an independent regulatory commission hearing had rejected the player's claim of excessive punishment and the suspension remained in place.

The Senegal international was shown a straight red card for a high-studs challenge that caught City's Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson on the head in the 37th minute.

He will now miss Saturday's Premier League match against Burnley and two games at Leicester City, one in the league and one in the League Cup.

Mane will, however, be available for the Champions League tie at home to Sevilla tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Liverpool had not appealed the dismissal, but argued the ban was too harsh for the incident.

The incident had divided observers and pundits, with Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp saying Mane had not deserved to be sent off.

Liverpool had an unlikely ally in former England boss Sam Allardyce.

The ex-Bolton manager, who branded Klopp "a soft German" back in 2015, insists the Reds boss was right to be furious with Mane's sending-off.

Speaking on Sky's Monday Night Football, Allardyce said: "Did he (Mane) intend to injury him (Ederson)? He didn't.

"He's just going for the ball, he has to go for the ball and he can only go for it with his foot.

"He can't go with his head and he can't see the goalkeeper.

"Under the letter of the law, it's a red, but I think that's wrong. 
I don't think someone should get sent off when he doesn't intend to injure the player.

"Maybe because the referee saw the goalkeeper injured on the floor, humanity kicked in. That made his decision subconsciously.

"If the goalkeeper had jumped up, he'd have gone with a yellow."

Allardyce also blasted the inconsistency of top-flight officials after Newcastle's Matt Ritchie got away with a booking after his high boot on Swansea's Alfie Mawson in the 1-0 win last Sunday.

"It's the same as Mane's," Allardyce added.

"The only difference is that Mawson sees the boot coming and pulls his head away." 
- WIRE SERVICES

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