Newcastle striker Alan Shearer has been handed a two match ban by UEFA after he was adjudged to have elbowed an opponent during the Champions League match against Internazionale on Wednesday.

Although the French referee Stephane Bre missed the incident, television pictures captured Shearer elbowing Inter defender Fabio Cannavaro in Wedensday’s clash.

“The decision was rendered on the basis of video evidence that showed the Newcastle United FC player elbow Fabio Cannavaro but also took into account provocation in the form of shirt-pulling leading up to the incident,” said a UEFA statement.

Shearer has until December 2 to appeal against the ban, but if accepts the sentence, he will miss Newcastle’s next two European matches against Barcelona on 10 December, and Bayer Leverkusen on 18 February next year.

The news is a significant setback for Newcastle, who already face the prospect of losing Shearer’s fellow striker Craig Belllamy for up to three matches after he was sent off for lashing out at MarcoMaterazzi in the same match.