Manchester United midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger has accepted a charge of violent conduct for his altercation with West Ham defender Winston Reid and will serve a three-match ban, the Football Association (FA) has confirmed.
The Germany international was charged on Monday after he appeared to strike New Zealand centre-back Reid with his forearm during last weekend’s 0-0 Premier League draw at Old Trafford.
Referee Mark Clattenburg and his assistants did not spot the clash during the match, but the FA took retrospective action after taking a dim view of the incident.
“Bastian Schweinsteiger will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after he accepted an FA charge for violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video,” an FA statement read.
“The Manchester United midfielder was involved in an incident with West Ham United’s Winston Reid in the 40th minute of the game on Saturday 5 December 2015.”
Schweinsteiger will miss United’s Premier League games against AFC Bournemouth, Norwich City and Stoke City, meaning he will next be available for the visit of champions Chelsea on December 28.
The 31-year-old has struggled for consistency since joining from Bayern Munich in the close-season and manager Louis van Gaal criticised his form after the West Ham match, saying: “We have not seen the best of Schweinsteiger – the player I saw at Bayern Munich.”
Van Gaal also hauled Schweinsteiger off in the second half of United’s 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg on Tuesday, a result that saw them exit the Champions League.
Schweinsteiger, though, was defended on Thursday by his international manager Joachim Low, who called for Germany’s captain to be given time to adapt to English football.
“We know what we have in Bastian. He is still a world-class player and undisputed as our captain,” he told Bild.
“Even an experienced player like him needs time to get used to a new league. I’m sure Bastian Schweinsteiger will still have a lot of fun at Manchester United.”