The Football Association has rejected QPR midfielder Joey Barton's appeal against his dismissal following the red card he received against Norwich City.
In Monday's Premier League fixture, Barton, 29, gave QPR an early lead at Loftus Road before getting involved in a tussle with Bradley Johnson and appearing to headbutt the Norwich midfielder.
QPR appealed against the dismissal but on Wednesday the FA confirmed that the appeal had failed and subsequently Barton will miss the FA Cup tie against Milton Keynes Dons and the league matches versus Newcastle and Wigan.
An FA statement read: "An Independent Regulatory Commission has today [Wednesday 4 January] dismissed a claim of wrongful dismissal from Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton following his red card for violent conduct in the QPR v Norwich City game on 2 January 2012. Barton will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect."
Barton joined QPR from Newcastle in the summer on a free transfer and has since made 16 league appearances, scoring twice.
Barton initially used his Twitter account to claim the match officials had been "conned'' and responded to today's punishment with more tweets, hitting out at the FA's ruling while also admitting he was "devastated'' not to be able to face former club Newcastle.
He tweeted: "Devastated to miss return to SJP and FA cup tie but life goes on. Feel sympathy for those who have never played yet set the rules.......
"I'd be really interested to see who this ''expert panel" really consists of? Wonder if we can find out? Right, enough on this matter, I am going to use my 3 games to take up acting classes. It's abundantly clear the best thespian wins. £nojustice.''
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