The Football Association has rejected Tottenham's appeal over Didier Zokora's red card against Manchester City on Tuesday.
The Spurs midfielder was sent-off by referee Steve Bennett in the Carling Cup clash, despite the fact the Ivory Coast international's challenge did not make contact with Elano.
Bennett deemed the tackle to be dangerous and the FA has now concurred with his ruling.
Zokora has been handed a three-match ban, in a sentence that Spurs will rue given their lack of defensive cover.
Younes Kaboul's lack of form has seen Zokora fill in at centre-back but Juande Ramos will now have to look at alternatives ahead of a busy festive period.
"As a footballer he did absolutely nothing wrong. He didn't commit a foul, and he shouldn't be punished," the Spanish coach told Sky Sports.
"I believe in the justice of sport, he didn't commit a foul so therefore he should not be punished. It is not fair that he now cannot play the game."
Zokora misses Saturday's derby with Arsenal at Emirates Stadium and home clashes against Fulham and Reading..