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FA hand Rio four-match ban

Manchester United will be without Rio Ferdinand for four matches after the Football Association's Independent Regulatory Commission ruled that his appeal against a three-game ban was frivolous.

The England international defender denied a charge of violent conduct after he appeared to catch Hull City striker Craig Fagan in the face with his arm in an off-the-ball incident which went unpunished by referee Steve Bennett on Saturday.

A brief statement on the FA's official website read: "The Commission felt that the player's denial of the charge was frivolous and on that basis have awarded an additional one-match ban upon the statutory three-match ban awarded for violent conduct."

Ferdinand was able to appear in Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final second leg victory against Manchester City after launching the appeal.

However, he will now miss United's next four Premier League matches against Arsenal, Portsmouth, Aston Villa and Everton.

Saturday's 4-0 victory against the Tigers had been Ferdinand's first match since the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in October 2009, following a lengthy injury lay-off due to a back complaint.

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Article title: FA hand Rio four-match ban

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