Rochdale have failed in their bid to have David Perkins' red card overturned before this weekend's League Two play-off final.
The 25-year-old midfielder now faces a lengthy five-match ban, but more importantly will miss the final against Stockport on Bank Holiday Monday.
Perkins was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Ricky Ravenhill in extra-time against Darlington but Dale held on in the closing stages to win 5-4 on penalties and secure the club a Wembley date for the first time in their history.
Rochdale chairman Chris Dunphy was furious with the decision not to overturn the ban.
Outraged"I am personally outraged because anyone who saw it on television could see there was no contact.
"We felt confident the decision could be overturned and we are now stunned.
"The referee got it wrong and everyone could see he got it wrong. This underlines the poor standards of referees we have had at Rochdale this season."