CHERRIES midfielder Jefferson Lerma hit out at the Football Association as he confirmed he will not appeal his six-match ban.

The Colombian has been suspended and slapped with a £40,000 fine by the FA for allegedly biting Sheffield Wednesday forward Josh Windass in November.

Cherries said they were “surprised and disappointed” by the Independent Regulatory Commission’s decision to uphold the charge of violent conduct, which Lerma had strenuously denied.

“After much consideration I have decided not to appeal the suspension handed to me by the Football Association,” Lerma said in a statement.

“This in no way reflects an admission of any guilt and I continue to deny the allegation made against me.

“I have cooperated fully throughout to try and prove my innocence.

“Sadly, however, the process I have witnessed over the past seven months has been incredibly disappointing – not least the lack of evidence used to charge me and the length of time since the fixture in question.

“Given the disappointment I feel, it is with regret that I do not have the confidence that an appeal would be handled any better and that has played a big part in my decision.”

An FA statement read: “AFC Bournemouth’s Jefferson Lerma has been suspended for six matches and fined £40,000 following a breach of FA Rule E3 that occurred during an EFL Championship match against Sheffield Wednesday FC on 03/11/20.”