UEFA hand Kyle Walker three-match European ban after calling foul ‘aggression’
Kyle Walker has been suspended for Manchester City’s next three Champions League matches for a foul that UEFA has described as “aggression”.
The European governing body have announced that the City right-back will serve an extended sentence for his red card in the final group game against RB Leipzig last month.
The England international will now miss both matches of the next round of 16 tie against Sporting Lisbon.
Walker was dismissed with eight minutes left in City’s 2-1 defeat at the RB Arena for needlessly kicking Leipzig striker Andre Silva in the legs from behind.
An expulsion carries an automatic one-match ban, but this has been increased following a hearing by UEFA‘s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body. The official indictment called the case “assault”.
As well as the Sporting draw, the 31-year-old will also be unavailable for City’s quarter-final first leg – if he progresses that far – or his first game in European competition next season.
The PA news agency understands the Premier League champions will not appeal the verdict.
Kyle Walker is an important player for us and there is no point in losing him like this. I hope he learns from it
The ban means manager Pep Guardiola can now count the cost of his decision to field a strong side for what was effectively dead rubber.
City had already secured top spot in Group A with one game to spare and there was little for them to do.
They were beaten after goals from Dominik Szoboszlai and Silva in each half. Riyad Mahrez pulled one back 14 minutes from time but frustration got the better of Walker and the visitors lost after playing the knockout rounds with 10 men.
Guardiola, who will be hoping to improve on last season’s second place finish in the Champions League, certainly didn’t seem impressed with Walker’s actions back then.
“The red card hurts us, especially for the round of 16,” the Spaniard said after the game.
“Kyle Walker is an important player for us and there is no point in losing him like this. I hope he will learn from it.
City will face Sporting in the first leg of their round of 16 in the Portuguese capital on February 15 with the return to the Etihad Stadium on March 9.
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