The FA have confirmed that Pascal Struijk will be banned for Leeds’ game against Newcastle on Friday after his red card appeal was rejected.
The defender was sent off against Liverpool on Sunday for a challenge on Harvey Elliott. While the tackle forced the youngster off on a stretcher, it wasn’t reckless. It seemed as though the referee made his decision based on the severity of the injury.
Elliott suffered a dislocated ankle, and has since had successful surgery.
Since the incident, Elliott has defended Struijk. He wrote on Instagram: “Sorry Pascal. I think it’s wrong! But it’ll soon blow over brother and you’ll be back in no time smashing it again.”
It’s very classy from the Liverpool lad, but his words won’t help Leeds at St James’ Park on Friday night. The Yorkshire side did appeal the red card, but it has now been rejected.
The game against Newcastle will be the first of a three-game ban for Struijk. It comes at a terrible time for Leeds, who may only have one fit centre-back available.
Marcelo Bielsa is already down to the barebones defensively, and the FA’s decision has made things even more difficult.
In hindsight, the red should have been rescinded. Yes, Elliott was badly injured. But it wasn’t a bad challenge.
There was an incident on Monday night between Burnley and Everton, where James Tarkowski took ball and man and a free-kick wasn’t even given. Would Tarkowski have seen red if Richarlison was badly hurt?
The FA’s decision doesn’t help Leeds, but it could give Newcastle an advantage. And right now they need all the help they can get.
Leeds fans have been reacting to the news on Twitter, and are furious with the FA’s decision.