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Premier League: Ramires banned for four matches after accepting FA charge

Chelsea midfielder Ramires will miss the remainder of the Premier League season after being handed a four-match suspension by the Football Association.

Ramires accepted a charge of violent conduct following a review into an off-the-ball incident in the hot-tempered closing stages of Saturday's shock 2-1 defeat to bottom club Sunderland at Stamford Bridge.

The 27-year-old caught Sebastian Larsson in the face with a flailing arm, although the offence was missed by match referee Mike Dean.

But FA disciplinary officials have reviewed the footage before issuing the violent conduct charge, which Ramires did not contest.

He incurred an automatic three-match ban, and an extra game was added on due to his sending off against Aston Villa last month.

The Brazil midfielder will miss Sunday's huge trip to title rivals Liverpool - a match for which Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has already threatened to play a weakened team - as well as meetings with Norwich and Cardiff.

Ramires can still feature in the UEFA Champions League this campaign, but the fourth and final match of his domestic ban will cover the first league game of next season.

An FA statement read: "Chelsea midfielder Ramires has accepted a charge of violent conduct following an off-the-ball incident that was not seen by the match officials but caught on video.

"The incident occurred during Chelsea's Premier League fixture against Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on Saturday 19 April.

"Ramires receives a four match ban which will start with immediate effect."

Mourinho and assistant coach Rui Faria have until 6pm on Monday to respond to further charges of misconduct following the Sunderland game.

The Portuguese faces punishment for comments made following his first home league defeat in 78 games at Stamford Bridge.

Faria was sent to the stands after berating the match officials following Sunderland's late winner.

Mourinho had to drag Faria away from fourth official Phil Dowd as the hosts' protests turned ugly in the closing stages.

The Blues boss could not hide his anger after his 77-match unbeaten home run ended, launching into a sarcastic appraisal of the officials in his post-match press conference.

"I want to congratulate Mike Dean," Mourinho said.

"I think his performance was unbelievable, and I think when referees they have unbelievable performances I think it's fair also that managers we give them this.

"So fantastic performance, he came here with one objective, the objective of making a fantastic performance and he did that.

"I think it's also fair, congratulations to Mike Riley, because he's the referees' boss, and what they are doing during the whole season is fantastic, especially in the last couple of months, especially in matches involving the teams that were in the title race, it's absolutely fantastic.

"And I also congratulate Mr Mike Riley, thank you."

Watch Liverpool v Chelsea on Sunday, kick-off at 1405, on Sky Sports 1HD

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