Liverpool's Lazar Markovic handed four-game European ban

Lazar Markovic (right) shown the red card against Basel
Markovic cost Liverpool £20m in the summer

Liverpool's Lazar Markovic has been given a four-match European ban by Uefa for his red card in the Champions League draw against Basel in December.

Markovic, 20, was sent off for flicking his hand in the face of Behrang Safari towards the end of a 1-1 draw that saw Liverpool eliminated.

His ban was extended by one game as he was also sent off for Benfica in last season's Europa League semi-final after he had been substituted.

Liverpool will not appeal.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers described the sending-off at the time as "a really disappointing decision" but Uefa rules permit an appeal only "where a decision by the referee involves an obvious error (such as mistaking the identity of the person penalised)".

Lazar Markovic on Twitter
Lazar Markovic responded on Twitter to his European ban

It means Liverpool will be without the Serb when their Europa League campaign starts against Besiktas on Thursday and, if they progress, he will be unavailable until the quarter-final stage.

The player made his own feelings known on social media, simply tweeting the message "4?"

Markovic, who arrived in Liverpool from Benfica in the summer, missed last season's Europa League final following his red card in the Portuguese side's win over Juventus.

He had just been substituted when he became involved in a touchline altercation with Juve's Mirko Vucinic, although the Serb maintained referee Mark Clattenburg had got the wrong man.

Lazar Markovic (right) against Juventus in the Europe League
Markovic (right) was also sent off against Juventus in last season's Europa League semi-final

"I don't feel I did anything wrong," he said. "It was somebody else and I was just trying to calm the situation down. I was trying to be the peacemaker but the whole thing escalated."

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