Brighton's Dale Stephens to miss play-offs as FA upholds three-match ban

Dale Stephens after being sent off against Middlesbrough
Dale Stephens (third from right) has made 45 appearances for Brighton this season

Brighton will be without Dale Stephens for their play-off campaign after the midfielder's three-match ban was upheld by the Football Association.

The 26-year-old was sent off for a foul on Gaston Ramirez during the 1-1 draw against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

The FA rejected a claim of wrongful dismissal and excessive punishment.

He will miss both legs of the semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday and, if the Seagulls progress, the Championship play-off final on 28 May.

Brighton travel to Hillsborough for the first leg on Friday, with the return at the Amex Stadium on 16 May.

Should Chris Hughton's side fail to overcome the Owls and reach Wembley, Stephens will miss the opening game of the 2016-17 season instead.

The former Charlton player has only missed one league game for Brighton this season, scoring seven goals in 45 appearances.

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