(Reuters) - United States international Jermaine Jones looks set to miss two World Cup qualifiers after the New England midfielder’s six-game ban for making contact with a referee during a playoff game was upheld by Major League Soccer (MLS).
Jones had appealed the initial ban through the Players’ Union, but after hearing the appeal MLS Commissioner Don Garber decided to uphold the suspension, the league’s said on its website on Friday.
The suspension relates to an incident on Oct. 28 when Jones made physical contact with referee Mark Geiger after he had turned down an appeal for a penalty late in the Revolution’s playoff game against D.C. United.
German-born Jones, 34, joined New England in 2014 on an 18-month deal, which expires at the end of the year.
He has represented the United States 56 times.
If Jones remains in MLS he will miss the first six matches of 2016.
He is ineligible to play for the U.S. team until he completes the ban, which means he could miss 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Guatemala on March 25 and 29.
Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford