Manchester City defender, Kyle Walker has been slapped with a three-match Champions League ban for ‘assault’ ahead of the knockout stages.
The right-back saw red for petulantly kicking out at RB Leipzig striker Andre Silva late on during City’s 2-1 dead-rubber defeat in Germany at the start of December. UEFA’s disciplinary board met on Tuesday and handed Walker a suspension that takes in both of the last-16 legs against Sporting Lisbon.
Walker was handed an automatic one-game ban but each disciplinary case is assessed by UEFA, with his punishment increased for what regulations state as ‘assault’. City head to Lisbon on February 15 as they restart their attempt to go one better than last season, when a first Champions League final ended in defeat by Chelsea.
Pep Guardiola branded the Walker’s sending off as ‘unnecessary’ and added that he hoped the defender ‘learns’ from the indiscretion.
‘My red card against Leipzig was very bad judgment and a stupid error that a 31-year-old shouldn’t be making with the amount of games that I’ve played,’ Walker said last week. ‘I’m human, I make mistakes and I’m learning from that and will bounce back.
Hopefully my performances between now and the end of the season can justify that and I’m picking up some silverware.’ The England international’s absence leaves Joao Cancelo and Oleksandr Zinchenko as City’s likely fullbacks for the European ties.