LONDON • Jamie Vardy will miss Leicester City's chance to seal the English Premier League title at Manchester United on Sunday.
An independent regulatory commission has imposed an additional one-match suspension on the England forward, following the Football Association's decision to charge him with improper conduct in relation to his dismissal against West Ham United.
Vardy accepted the charge but requested a personal hearing in the hope that he could persuade the panel to take a more lenient view of his conduct, after he was sent off in the 2-2 draw at the King Power Stadium on April 17.
Yet, an extended ban always seemed the most likely scenario from the moment the FA signalled its intention to take action.
The Leicester striker, who has also been fined £10,000 (S$19,800), served his mandatory one-match ban on Sunday when Leicester hammered Swansea 4-0, a result which has given Claudio Ranieri and his players the belief that they can cope without their leading scorer.
Vardy will be available for the last two fixtures of the season - at home to Everton and away at Chelsea on the final day - and he will hope to add to his 22-goal tally.
The red card that Vardy received against West Ham was his first as a professional footballer. Jon Moss, the referee, was at the centre of several contentious decisions that day and his handling of the game has been widely criticised.
Vardy picked up two yellow cards, the second for allegedly diving, and he was unable to conceal his anger as he left the pitch, leading to Moss mentioning the 29-year-old's behaviour in his match report.
While it was seen as a blow to Leicester then, in particular that idea that their most prolific player could potentially miss two games at such a critical stage, Leonardo Ulloa proved to be a capable deputy for Vardy with two goals against Swansea. Leicester will hope for more of the same from the Argentinian against Man United.
Meanwhile, newly-crowned Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez has ruled out a move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
The 25-year-old, who joined Leicester from French Ligue 2 club Le Havre in 2014, has been one of the Premier League's standout performers so far this season, with 17 goals and 11 assists.
"I do not see myself going back," Mahrez told British media.
"I don't really want to go back to France. France does not really excite me, I love England."
REUTERS, THE GUARDIAN