LONDON -- Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has been handed a two-match ban by the English Football Association for making an abusive gesture toward Manchester City fans during a Premier League match.
The FA rejected Wilshere's appeal that the length of his punishment was "clearly excessive" and said Thursday his suspension begins with immediate effect. He will miss league matches against Chelsea on Monday and West Ham on Dec. 26.
The England international raised his middle finger toward City supporters during Saturday's game at Etihad Stadium, which Arsenal lost 6-3. The incident wasn't seen by match officials at the time but the FA charged Wilshere retrospectively after a panel studied video footage.
Blackpool winger Tom Ince was given a two-game ban when he was retrospectively charged for a similar incident this season.