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Sunderland defender Michael Turner banned for Christmas as FA appeal fails
Published : 22 Dec 2009 18:43:17
The 26 year-old has been handed a four-game ban - the three games he would have served automatically for catching Gareth Barry with his elbow, plus another for fighting the punishment, in the view of disciplinary chiefs, with no prospect of success. He will miss the Boxing Day clash with Everton and the trip to Blackburn two days later, as well as the FA Cup third round clash with non-league Barrow and Bolton's visit to the Stadium of Light on Jan 9. Related ArticlesSteve Bruce facing FA rap for referee rantDarren Bent in World Cup spider fearManchester City 4 Sunderland 3Steve Bruce's regrets over Richard DunneSunderland 0 Aston Villa 2Sport on televisionTurner will not be available again until Sunderland head for Chelsea the following weekend. The news will come as a huge blow to manager Steve Bruce, who has also been asked to explain his comments after the game, during which he described referee Andre Marriner's decision to send off the defender as "obscene", "a joke" and "an outrage",. Bruce also hinted that his complaint against the same official following Kenwyne Jones's dismissal against West Ham in October could have been a contributory factor. Bruce was still pleading Turner's innocence, and citing his own battle-scars as evidence that accidental contact during aerial challenges is an inevitable part of the game. He said: "The problem we have got with Michael Turner - and I have watched it 10 times over - and this is the big debate: if there's an intentional elbow, then fine, it's a red card. "But the pair of them, him and Gareth Barry, are glued to the ball. "There's no question that Michael Turner has caught Gareth Barry, I am not arguing that case, and that was on the day as well. "But sometimes when there is an aerial collision and two people are genuinely going for the ball, especially when they are both running forward... "It was a shuddering challenge, I agree, but that's why my face is the way it is. It's part and parcel of it. "It seems to me now that it's a red card if somebody catches somebody across the face with an arm. "But I keep saying, if you are jumping for a ball, it is impossible to jump without leverage with your arms." A Football Association statement on Tuesday said: "An independent regulatory commission have today dismissed a claim from Sunderland defender, Michael Turner, following his red card for serious foul play in Sunderland's game against Manchester City on 19 December. "Turner claimed that the standard punishment is clearly excessive, but this was rejected by the commission and the defender will now receive a four-match ban - increased by one game as the commission felt the claim had no prospect of success - starting with immediate effect. "The FA have also confirmed today they have written to Sunderland manager, Steve Bruce, seeking his observations following media comments made immediately after the match at the City of Manchester Stadium. Bruce has until 31 December to respond." Sunderland have had four men sent off this season and Turner, Jones, Kieran Richardson, Lorik Cana and Phil Bardsley have already served bans. Bruce said: "The red cards we have had - anybody who has seen us, we are not a dirty team at all, far from it."