London: Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic will miss Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham at Wembley and two key matches in the team's Premier League run-in after his appeal against a charge of violent conduct was dismissed.
The Serbian international was charged by the Football Association and handed a three-match ban after video footage emerged of him punching Wigan forward Shaun Maloney in an off-the-ball incident unseen by the match officials during Chelsea's 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
"A regulatory commission heard the claim today and Ivanovic's three-match suspension will commence with immediate effect," the FA said in a statement.
The ban deprives Chelsea of one their best defenders for a vital part of the season, with Ivanovic also missing league games against third-placed Arsenal and west London rivals Queens Park Rangers, who are fighting to avoid relegation, though he is available for both legs of the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.
With five matches remaining, Chelsea are sixth in the standings and in danger of missing out on a top-four finish that secures Champions League football next season.
Ashley Cole missed Monday's 1-1 draw at Fulham with an ankle injury and is reported to be a serious doubt for Sunday while another defender, captain John Terry, is playing through pain after cracking two ribs in a recent match.
Jose Bosingwa is likely to replace Ivanovic at rightback this weekend.