Jack Wilshere hit with two-match ban for showing Manchester City fans his middle finger

The Arsenal midfielder admitted an FA misconduct charge following the offensive gesture

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere must serve a two-match ban after he admitted a misconduct charge over an offensive hand gesture made towards Manchester City fans, the Football Association confirmed on Thursday evening.

Television cameras picked up Wilshere raising his middle finger in the direction of home supporters at the Etihad Stadium during the second half of the Gunners' 6-3 Barclays Premier League defeat on Saturday.

Although the incident was missed at the time by referee Martin Atkinson and his officials, the FA was able to retrospectively implement disciplinary proceedings against the player under a new pilot scheme for 'not seen' incidents in Premier League matches.

As such, an independent three-man panel agreed if the gesture had been viewed during the game, then it would have merited a dismissal.

Arsenal submitted mitigating circumstances to the governing body, arguing the length of the punishment is excessive, but those submissions were rejected and so Wilshere 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."

In December 2011, Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was suspended for one match, fined £20,000 and warned as to his future conduct after he made a gesture to home fans as he walked off the pitch following a 1-0 defeat at Fulham.

However, a precedent had been set from earlier this season when a two-match suspension was handed out to Blackpool winger Tom Ince after he was retrospectively charged in relation to a gesture towards a match official in a Capital One Cup tie against Preston.

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 said on talkSPORT.

"People can lose their cool very quickly, but he (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."

Arsenal will need to respond from their drubbing at City to avoid potentially being pushed down into fourth place for Christmas should all the results go against them this weekend.

Defender Laurent Koscielny remains a doubt for Monday night's showdown with Chelsea after he suffered a deep gash in his knee just before half-time at the Etihad Stadium.

German forward Lukas Podolski, however, could be involved for the first time since late August following his recovery from a hamstring tear.

Midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has targetted a return early in the new year having suffered a knee injury in the first game of the Premier League season against Aston Villa.

The 20-year-old England World Cup remains hopeful of a positive recovery, just as midfielder Aaron Ramsey has shown is possible after breaking his leg in two places during February 2010.

"You can either let setbacks be a setback or let them be a temporary setback as part of a learning curve to go on and turn it into something positive," Oxlade-Chamberlain told Arsenal Player.

"People sometimes don't realise if you get an injury like that, doing something you do on a day-to-day basis and sometimes you can't put your finger on why it happened, to come back from that and put yourself under threat of doing that same horrific injury that brings back those bad memories again, that can be really challenging mentally.

"I think the way that Aaron has come back from that injury and a time like that to show what he is doing this season and even in the seasons before, ever since I have been here, he has been a brilliant player and I can say the same about Jack (Wilshere) with his injury as well.

"The amount of time he was out and to come back and see how positive he is now and how hard he is still working to make sure he tries to prevent injuries like that again, is a real learning curve for any player.

"For me, now I find myself in the same situation they found themselves in, hopefully on a shorter length of injury, it does give you hope.

"You can take a lot of positivity from that and confidence that you can come back stronger."

PA

Arts & Entertainment
Shaun Evans as Endeavour interviews a prisoner as he tries to get to the bottom of a police cover up
tvReview: Second series comes to close with startling tale of police corruption and child abuse
Arts & Entertainment
A stranger calls: Martin Freeman in ‘Fargo’
Review: New 10-part series brims with characters and stories

Arts & Entertainment
Schwarzenegger winning Mr. Universe 1969
arts + entsCan you guess the celebrity from these British Pathe News clips?
Sport
Raheem Sterling and Luis Suarez celebrate during Liverpool's game with Norwich
football Another hurdle is out of the way for Brendan Rodgers' side
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Arts & Entertainment
The star of the sitcom ‘Miranda’ is hugely popular with mainstream audiences
TVMiranda Hart lined up for ‘Generation Game’ revival
News
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth-II by David Bailey which has been released to mark her 88th birthday
peoplePortrait released to mark monarch's 88th birthday
Life & Style
The writer, Gerda Saunders, with her mother, who also suffered with dementia before her death
healthGerda Saunders on the most formidable effect of her dementia
Sport
Manchester United manager David Moyes looks on during his side's defeat to Everton
footballBaines and Mirallas score against United as Everton keep alive hopes of a top-four finish
Sport
Tour de France 2014Sir Rodney Walker on organising the UK stages of this year’s race
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Brown Findlay as Mary Yellan in ‘Jamaica Inn’
TVJessica Brown Findlay on playing the spirited heroine of Jamaica Inn
News
YouTube clocks up more than a billion users a month
mediaEuropean rival Dailymotion certainly thinks so
Arts & Entertainment
The original design with Charles' face clearly visible, which is on display around the capital
arts + ents The ad shows Prince Charles attired for his coronation in a crown and fur mantle with his mouth covered by a criss-cross of white duct tape
Arts & Entertainment
‘Self-Portrait Worshipping Christ’ (c943-57) by St Dunstan
books How British artists perfected the art of the self-portrait
Sport
Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring in Liverpool's 3-2 win over Norwich
Football Vine shows Suarez writhing in pain before launching counter attack
News
People White House officials refuse to make comment on 275,000 signatures that want Justin Bieber's US visa revoked
News
Sir Cliff Richard is to release his hundredth album at age 72
PEOPLE
Sport
Lukas Podolski celebrates one of his two goals in Arsenal's win over Hull
football
Arts & Entertainment
Quentin Tarantino, director
film
News
The speeding train nearly hit this US politican during a lecture on rail safety
news As the saying goes, you have to practice what you preach
Sport
Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (front) drives ahead of Red Bull Formula One driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia during the Chinese F1 Grand Prix at the Shanghai International circuit
sport
Arts & Entertainment
Billie Jean King, who won the women’s Wimbledon title in 1967, when the first colour pictures were broadcast
tv
News
Snow has no plans to step back or reduce his workload
mediaIt's 25 years since Jon Snow first presented Channel 4 News, and his drive shows no sign of diminishing
Life & Style
food + drinkWhat’s not to like?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit