Chelsea midfielder Ramires will miss the rest of the club’s Premier League campaign after accepting a four-match ban for violent conduct on Thursday.
Ramires struck Sunderland’s Sebastian Larsson in an off-the-ball incident during his team’s shock 2-1 home defeat against the Black Cats on Saturday.
The Brazilian decided not to contest the charge and, having already been sent off against Aston Villa earlier this season, he received an additional one-match ban on top of the regular three-game suspension.
That rules him out of second-placed Chelsea’s visit to leaders Liverpool on Sunday — a match for which Blues boss Jose Mourinho has already threatened to play a weakened team — as well as the meetings with Norwich and Cardiff.
The fourth and final match of the ban will cover the first domestic game of next season.
However, the 27-year-old’s season is not over as Chelsea remain in the Champions League, with a 0-0 draw in their semi-final first leg against Atletico Madrid leaving them in a strong position ahead of next week’s second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho and assistant Rui Faria were also subject to disciplinary action by the FA on Wednesday following the controversial Sunderland clash.
Mourinho gave a sarcastic appraisal of referee Mike Dean’s performance, as well drawing referees’ chief Mike Riley into the debate, while Faria was dismissed for angrily confronting the match officials.
The pair have until Monday evening to consider their responses. Faria’s case has been designated a “non-standard” one by the FA “due to the aggressive and/or threatening and/or serious nature of the reported behaviour”.
It is the third time Mourinho has faced FA disciplinary action this term.
As well as the Villa Park incident which has left him seething, Mourinho was fined STG8,000 ($A14,500) after accepting a charge following his dismissal against Cardiff in October.