Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher will miss the Champions League final in Rome later this month after UEFA confirmed there was no scope for overturning the red card he received against Arsenal on Tuesday.
Fletcher was sent off by Italian referee Roberto Rosetti for a 75th-minute challenge on Cesc Fabregas.
UEFA spokesman Rob Faulkner said on Wednesday while United had the right to protest the decision, there was nothing in UEFA’s rules that would allow Fletcher to avoid the ban.
Faulkner told Reuters: “Manchester United have the right to protest the decision within 24 hours of the match.
“However the protest is only admissible if the referee made an error and mistakenly identified and cautioned or sent off the wrong player.
“There cannot be an appeal against a factual decision taken by the referee, and there is nothing to indicate that the referee made a mistake in identifying Fletcher as the player he penalised last night.”
Even if Rosetti was to admit his decision was wrong, the red card would still stand under article 44.4 of UEFA’s disciplinary regulations, which only allows red cards to be rescinded for cases of mistaken identity.
Television replays showed the 25-year-old Scottish international connected with the call before colliding with Arsenal skipper Fabregas.
Fletcher was an unused substitute when Manchester United beat Chelsea in last year’s final in Moscow but manager Alex Ferguson said after Tuesday’s match he would probably have featured in the final in Rome on May 27.