Rodgers ‘accepts’ Markovic ban

Jubilant scenes inside the Chelsea dressing room following their Europa League win

Markovic will sit out the next four European games – starting with Thursday’s Europa League last-32 tie against Besiktas at Anfield – after being shown a straight red in the Champions League draw against Basel in December.

The 20-year-old Serb was sent off for flicking his hand at Behrang Safari’s face towards the end of the 1-1 draw.

When considering the length of the ban, UEFA extended it by one game after taking into account the fact Markovic had also been sent off for Benfica in last season’s Europa League semi-final after he had been substituted.

???We???re obviously disappointed with the length of the ban, just purely because of the incident, at the time I think everyone would have felt it was very, very harsh,??? Rodgers said.

???However we accept the ban and unfortunately he will have to serve that.

???He won???t be able to contribute for these coming games but for the future he???ll be able to hopefully play many more European games for the club.???

Markovic was similarly baffled when the lengthy ban was handed down, posting simply on his Twitter account: ???4????.