Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic was suspended three games Thursday by the English FA for violent conduct.

Ivanovic was charged for punching Wigan forward Shaun Maloney on Saturday in an English Premier League match. Ivanovic ran up behind Maloney and struck him in the back, but it was not seen by officials.

The 28-year-old Serbia international challenged the charges, but his appeal was denied by a regulatory commission. He will start the ban immediately, and will miss Sunday's FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham.