Martin Skrtel posts images of clowns after being handed three-game ban by the FA

But he will escape further punishment

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Martin Skrtel, the Liverpool defender, has failed in his attempt to overturn a three-match suspension for standing on the Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, but will escape further punishment for appearing to mock the Football Association independent panel.

The Slovakia international appealed to the three-man panel sitting in judgement on the matter on the basis that his action was accidental and not intentional. However, they rejected the 30-year-old centre-back’s submission and ruled the charge of violent conduct proven.

In reaction to hearing of his failed appeal, he posted a picture of three clowns on his Instagram account with the caption “...”.

The fact that the photo was unaccompanied by words is understood to be the reason why the FA is not taking further action, as it would be difficult to prove the post is related to the charge.

Martin Skrtel comes together with David De Gea

Skrtel will serve an immediate suspension, meaning he will miss league games at Arsenal and at home to Newcastle United, either side of the FA Cup sixth-round replay at Championship side Blackburn Rovers.

The defender was charged on the basis of video evidence after referee Martin Atkinson missed the incident in the last seconds of Sunday’s 2-1 United win at Anfield.

Skrtel chased a through ball as 10-man Liverpool searched for a late equaliser, but De Gea slid in to get there first and the defender continued his run and stood on the goalkeeper’s right shin.

A three-man panel of former elite officials reviewed the footage independently of each other and unanimously agreed the offence warranted a red card.

In a statement the FA confirmed the punishment, saying: “Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after a charge of violent conduct against him was found proven.

“The defender had denied the charge, which related to an on-field incident involving Manchester United’s David De Gea in the 95th minute of Sunday’s game which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.

“However, an independent regulatory commission hearing today found the charge proven.”