• Premier League

Wilshere loses appeal

ESPN staff
December 19, 2013
ESPN FC: Jack Wilshere's wild gesture

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will have to serve a two-match ban after the FA rejected an appeal based on mitigating circumstances for the player's gesture towards Manchester City fans last weekend.

Wilshere appeared to raise his middle finger towards the home supporters during Saturday's 6-3 defeat at the Etihad Stadium but the incident was not seen by the match officials during the game.

However, after video footage of the incident was reviewed, the England international was retrospectively charged with "making an offensive and/or insulting and/or abusive gesture."

He will now miss both the visit of Chelsea on December 23 as well as the Boxing Day trip to West Ham.

A statement from the FA read: "Arsenal's Jack Wilshere has been suspended for two matches by an independent regulatory commission.

"Wilshere was charged by the FA with making an offensive and/or insulting and/or abusive gesture during the fixture between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday 14 December.

"The incident was not seen by match officials, but was caught on video.

"Whilst admitting the charge, Wilshere claimed the standard sanction for this offence was clearly excessive. The commission rejected this claim and the two match suspension will commence with immediate effect."

FA chairman Greg Dyke had earlier empathised with the player's frustrations, but insisted the highest examples must always be maintained by the professionals on the pitch and Wilshere, who turns 22 on New Year's Day, must take lessons on board.

"As a supporter I sympathise with the players because of the flak they get from the crowd," Dyke told talkSPORT. "People can lose their cool very quickly, but [Wilshere] has got to learn. He's very well paid to play the game and he's got to learn to cope with it.

"You think back over many years of players who were hot-headed when they were younger, but not when they get older. They just learn and mature. That is what happens. It is part of life.''

Wilshere was banned after raising a middle finger to the crowd during Saturday's 6-3 defeat © PA Photos

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