Vieira handed FA ban for kick-out

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The Football Association have confirmed Patrick Vieira will serve a three-game ban after the Manchester City midfielder opted not to contest a charge of violent conduct.

The veteran Frenchman escaped punishment at the time after kicking Stoke's Glenn Whelan between the legs during Tuesday's 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium, but he was charged after video evidence was reviewed and will now miss Barclays Premier League games against Liverpool and Chelsea and the FA Cup replay against the Potters.

Vieira said: "At no time did I intend to injure Glenn Whelan. I apologised to him at the time. My foot did make contact with him but I carried no malice at all toward him."

Vieira was no stranger to the FA or disciplinary action during his nine years at Arsenal, accumulating 100 bookings and 10 red cards before joining Inter Milan in 2005.

A statement from City on Thursday night read: "Patrick Vieira has reluctantly decided not to contest the FA charge of violent conduct."

The 33-year-old was making only his second start for the club following a January move from Inter.

Stoke manager Tony Pulis was enraged referee Alan Wiley took no action after Vieira lashed out following a challenge by Whelan in the first half of the league game.

Similar cases of the FA taking retrospective action have seen Stoke's Robert Huth and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand banned in recent months.

Pulis referred to the Huth incident as he called for "parity" after Tuesday's game.

"We had a player given a three-game suspension after an incident a couple of months back," he said.

"There were incidents in the first half with Man City players where I think it is as bad if not worse."

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