Rangers lose appeal against Steven Whittaker Euro ban

Steven Whittaker is sent off in Malmo
Whittaker was sent off after 18 minutes against Malmo in Sweden

Rangers have lost their appeal against a three-match European suspension handed to Steven Whittaker.

The full-back was ordered off for throwing the ball at an opponent in the second leg of the Champions League qualifying loss to Malmo.

He missed last week's Europa League play-off round first leg defeat against Maribor because of an automatic suspension from Uefa.

But Rangers thought an additional two games was an excessive punishment.

The Ibrox club say Uefa's appeals body dismissed their case after taking note of the defender's dismissal during a recent international.

"The club understands Whittaker's sending off for Scotland in a match against Spain at Hampden in October 2010 - for two yellow card offences - was also taken into account," read a statement on the Rangers websiteexternal-link.

"Rangers find this disappointing and believe it is unfair as they player has enjoyed a good disciplinary record throughout his career with Hibernian, at Ibrox and with the national side."

Whittaker has not played since his 18th-minute dismissal in Sweden because of a broken toe picked up before his altercation with Jimmy Durmaz.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist was critical of Whittaker after his red card in the 1-1 draw against Malmo.

"We've no problems about the sending off and we've spoken about that," McCoist said following the game that resulted in a 2-1 aggregate loss.

"It was a mistake and a gross error of judgement.

"With that said, the boy went down holding his face when the ball never hit him there and he made a lot of what happened."