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Rio receives three-match ban for misconduct

The tweet in question has not been disclosed by the governing body, but it has been confirmed that the post included a reference to gender.

Ferdinand's sanction, which also includes a £25,000 fine, is open to appeal, but will rule him out of Premier League fixtures against Chelsea, Manchester City and Newcastle United if upheld.

"It was alleged a comment Ferdinand posted on his twitter account was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper," read an FA statement.

"It was further alleged that this breach was aggravated pursuant to FA Rule E3(2) as the comment included a reference to gender.

"Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on Wednesday 29 October, Ferdinand was also fined £25,000, severely warned as to his future conduct and ordered to attend an education programme, arranged by the FA within four months."

Former England captain Ferdinand has made seven Premier League appearances for QPR since joining the Loftus Road club during the close-season.