EVERTON midfielder Marouane Fellaini has been banned for three matches after accepting a charge of violent conduct for a head-butt on Stoke's Ryan Shawcross.
The English Football Association brought the charge retrospectively after reviewing footage of the 1-1 draw at the Brittania Stadium.
The Belgian had already apologised.
The ban is the equivalent of what the 25-year-old would have received had the referee, Mark Halsey, seen the incident and issued a red card.
Fellaini will miss Everton's Christmas fixtures against West Ham United, Wigan Athletic and Chelsea and will not be available until the trip to Newcastle United on January 2.
A statement from the FA also referred to two other clashes between Fellaini and Shawcross but Halsey confirmed he saw both and did not consider them violent conduct.
Fellaini's absence will be sorely felt by Everton after an inspirational first half of the season in which he has scored eight goals as his side push for a Champions League place.
Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, gave Fellaini credit for his apology and to Everton manager David Moyes.
He said: "It was refreshing to hear the manager accept that what happened was wrong and for the player to apologise."