Auxerre’s French international striker Djibril Cisse is almost certain to miss EURO 2004 after UEFA rejected his appeal against a five-match ban.

The 22-year-old was handed the ban in December following his dismissal in the European Under-21 Championship play-off game between France and Portugal on 18 November in Clermont-Ferrand. Cisse was sent off for deliberately kicking an opponent but the length of his ban was mainly due to his failure to leave the pitch and his continued abuse of the referee.

Cisse would have been a strong contender to have made France’s squad for this summer’s finals in Portugal but given that he would not be eligible to play until the final, it seem inconceivable that coach Jacques Santini will include him in his squad.