Nemanja Vidic Suspended 3 Matches as FA Rejects Red-Card Appeal

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 21, 2014

Manchester United's Nemanja Vidic, centre, is shown a red card by referee Phil Dowd during the English Premier League soccer match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, London, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press

Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic will miss the club's next three matches after his appeal concerning a red card late in the loss to Chelsea was rejected by the Football Association.

Rob Harris of the Associated Press passed along word of the FA's decision:

The veteran defender will miss the second leg of United's Capital One Cup semifinal matchup with Sunderland as well as Premier League clashes with Cardiff City and Stoke City.   

Matt Law of The Guardian provided post-match comments from manager David Moyes, who felt Vidic only deserved a yellow card for his challenge on Chelsea star Eden Hazard:

I thought Vidic wasn't a sending off, but I've seen Rafa’s and I think that could have been one.

There were two tackles. People want their players to tackle. I thought one was a yellow card. On another day, the other was a red.

Vidic, who has shown sides of fading pace after a long career, still remains a stabilizing force at the back for United. His suspension will lead to even more tough decisions for Moyes as he attempts to rectify all the issues that have plagued the club in his first season at Old Trafford.

Jonny Evans and Phil Jones could form the central defense tandem in the short term, but Moyes could opt to simply rotate defenders over the next three matches until Vidic is available. Either way, the captain's absence will likely be noticeable.

As for the foul itself, it was definitely on the borderline between yellow and red. Given the fact United were starting to show frustration as they headed for their fourth loss in five matches, the referee decided the reckless challenge was worthy of a straight red.

The FA saw no reason to overturn the three-match ban upon appeal. Vidic will be eligible to return for the Feb. 9 league match against Fulham.