Sunderland appeal over Stephane Sessegnon red card fails

Sunderland will be without Stephane Sessegnon for the rest of the season after failing in their appeal against the forward's three-match ban.

The 28-year-old was sent off for a challenge on Yacouba Sylla in Monday's 6-1 defeat against Aston Villa.

Sessegnon's suspension rules him out of the remainder of relegation-threatened Sunderland's games - at home to Stoke and Southampton and away to Tottenham.

Black Cats manager Paolo Di Canio did not believe it was a bad challenge.

"With the dynamic of the challenge, it can be a trap for the referee because, from distance, you see the dynamic, but there is not a nasty challenge," the Italian told BBC Sport after Monday's loss.

Benin international Sessegnon, scorer of seven goals in 39 games for the Wearsiders this season, has been one of the team's best performers of late as they bid to avoid relegation.

Defeat by Aston Villa leaves Sunderland five points above the relegation zone having played a game more than 18th-placed Wigan.