Football: Vardy suspended for three games for red card

English referee Craig Pawson (right) shows a red card to Leicester City's English striker Jamie Vardy for his challenge on Stoke City's Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf during the English Premier League football match in Stoke-on-Trent, central En
English referee Craig Pawson (right) shows a red card to Leicester City's English striker Jamie Vardy for his challenge on Stoke City's Senegalese striker Mame Biram Diouf during the English Premier League football match in Stoke-on-Trent, central England on Dec 17, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Ailing Premier League champions Leicester City suffered a blow on Tuesday (Dec 20) as England striker Jamie Vardy received a three-match ban from the Football Association (FA) for his sending off against Stoke City.

The 29-year-old, who had returned to form in dramatic style with a hat-trick against Manchester City 10 days ago to end a three month scoring drought, will miss matches against Everton, West Ham and Middlesbrough.

The FA rejected the club's claim of wrongful dismissal which hinged upon Vardy being off balance as he was harried by Glen Johnson when he challenged Stoke forward Mame Diouf just before the half-hour mark.

Referee Craig Pawson did not hesitate in showing him a red card for the two-footed challenge.

It was the third time in Vardy's career he had been sent for an early shower.

"Jamie Vardy will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after his wrongful dismissal claim was rejected, following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing," read the FA statement.

"The Leicester City striker was sent off for serious foul play during the game at Stoke City on Saturday 17 December 2016."

Vardy's suspension means Leicester will be without three key players for the game with Everton next Monday.

Defenders Christian Fuchs and Robert Huth will be absent as they each serve a one-match suspension for picking up their fifth bookings of the campaign in Saturday's ill-tempered Stoke match.

They were two of five Leicester players to be booked by Pawson in the final seven minutes of the first half - leading to angry scenes at the break with the referee exiting surrounded by security personnel - in a match which saw them come from 2-0 down to secure a 2-2 draw.

Ironically, Pawson had been criticised for not sending off Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo for a similar two-footed challenge in their Premier League clash with Crystal Palace only a few days prior to the Vardy incident.

Leicester currently sit a lowly 15th in the table, just three points clear of the relegation places.