Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been hit with an eight-match suspension and fined £40,000 by the Football Association.
Suarez was found guilty of misconduct after Manchester United defender Patrice Evra accused the Uruguay international of racially abusing him during the Premier League clash at Anfield on October 15.
The Reds forward can appeal against the unprecedented sanction and the suspension will not come into effect until after the outcome of any further hearing.
Liverpool have 14 days from the point when they receive the FA's written reasons for their decision to lodge an appeal, with the ban not beginning until this date has passed.
Evra told French TV he was racially abused by the Uruguayan on 10 occasions during the match, and a three-man Independent Regulatory Commission appointed by the FA have found the Anfield striker guilty.
A statement from the FA read: "On 16 November 2011, The Football Association charged Luis Suarez with misconduct contrary to FA Rule E3 in relation to the Liverpool FC versus Manchester United FC fixture on 15 October 2011.
"A hearing took place from 14-20 December 2011 before an Independent Regulatory Commission of The FA to consider the charge.
"The Independent Regulatory Commission announced its decision on 20 December 2011, which is as follows:
1. Mr Suarez used insulting words towards Mr Evra during the match contrary to FA Rule E3(1);
2. the insulting words used by Mr Suarez included a reference to Mr Evra's colour within the meaning of Rule E3(2);
3. Mr Suarez shall be warned as to his future conduct, be suspended for eight matches covering all first team competitive matches and fined the sum of £40,000;
4. the [penalty] is suspended pending the outcome of any appeal lodged by Mr Suarez against this decision.
"Mr Suarez has the right to appeal the decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission to an Appeal Board. An appeal must be lodged within 14 days of the date of the written reasons for the decision.
"The penalty is suspended until after the outcome of any appeal, or the time for appealing expires, or should Mr Suarez decide not to appeal. The reason for this is to ensure that the penalty does not take effect before any appeal so that Mr Suarez has an effective right of appeal."
Suarez will continue to be available to Reds manager Kenny Dalglish, who has always backed the former Ajax striker, over the busy festive period.
Should Liverpool appeal Luis Suarez' ban?