Wayne Rooney has lost his appeal against a two-match ban handed down by the Football Association.
Rooney was handed the suspension by the FA after swearing into a television camera following the penalty kick that completed his hat-trick against West Ham.
The striker will miss Saturday’s Premier League game against Fulham as well as the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City next weekend.
United decided against contesting the charge itself, with Rooney having already publicly apologised for his behaviour, but they challenged the length of the suspension.
A statement issued by the FA read: “A Regulatory Commission has suspended Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney for two matches. Rooney had admitted a charge for the use of offensive, insulting and / or abusive language, but claimed that the automatic penalty of two games was clearly excessive.
“The Commission did not accept the claim and Rooney will begin the standard two match suspension with immediate effect. The charge relates to an incident during his side’s fixture with West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday 2 April 2011.”
The 25-year-old issued his statement shortly after the announcement and it added: “I am gutted to miss two matches, one of which is an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.
“I am not the first player to have sworn on TV and I won’t be the last.
“Unlike others who have been caught swearing on camera, I apologised immediately. And yet I am the only person banned for swearing. That doesn’t seem right.
“Whatever, I have to accept that what’s happened has happened and move on from here. That is what I intend to do.”
Manchester United also released a statement in which the club admitted to being “clearly very disappointed”.
It continued: “The club put forward a very strong case to have the punishment reduced, which was unsuccessful.
“Wayne Rooney apologised immediately after the match, and the club now wishes to move to on to what hopefully will be a very exciting conclusion to the season.”
Meanwhile, United skipper Rio Ferdinand has called for an end to the witch-hunt against team-mate Rooney.
“Wayne Rooney swearing on TV, as much as I don’t condone it, is not front page news,” said Ferdinand.
“We should follow him as a footballer rather than keep lynching him for a lot of the stuff that goes on”
“There are bigger things going on in the world. There are things happening in Libya and Ivory Coast and we are talking about Wayne Rooney on the front page of newspapers because he swore at a camera.
“We should follow him as a footballer rather than keep lynching him for a lot of the stuff that goes on.
“I wouldn’t say he is innocent in a lot of the stuff that has happened but sometimes because of who he is the reaction can be over the top.”