London:Rio Ferdinand was banned for four matches on Thursday after failing in an appeal against a Football Association charge of violent conduct.
The charge related to an incident in United's 4-0 win over Hull on Saturday in which Ferdinand, returning from three months out injured, appeared to catch Hull's Craig Fagan in the face with a swinging arm.
The offence would normally result in a three-match ban but Ferdinand's appeal was deemed "frivolous" by the FA disciplinary panel which examined the appeal and an extra match suspension was added.
The ban takes effect immediately, ruling Ferdinand out of United's Premier League match against Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.
The 31-year-old will also sit out matches against Portsmouth, Aston Villa and Everton next month but he will be available for the League Cup final against Aston Villa at Wembley on February 28.
By appealing against the charge, Ferdinand delayed the FA's announcement of his punishment until Thursday, ensuring he was able to play in the second leg of the League Cup semi-final against Manchester City, which United won.
Nemanja Vidic was on the bench for that match following his own recovery from injury and the Serbian centreback is expected to partner Jonny Evans against Arsenal.