LONDON: West Ham striker Andy Carroll will serve a three-match suspension, starting immediately, after an independent arbitration tribunal dismissed a legal challenge by the club against the Football Association’s decision to uphold the player’s red card.
The Hammers had been unhappy that the England international’s ban – a consequence of his dismissal against Swansea last week after an altercation with defender Chico Flores – was not overturned by the FA, and took the case to tribunal in the pursuit of what manager Sam Allardyce claimed was “justice”.
However, the independent panel, at which the FA was also represented, found “there was no serious issue to be tried” and as such rejected West Ham’s submissions, meaning Carroll must serve out his punishment. He will miss games against Aston Villa, Norwich and Southampton.
A statement from the FA read: “An independent arbitration tribunal convened under FA Rule K has today dismissed a legal challenge brought by West Ham United FC and Andy Carroll in relation to the red card received by Carroll in the match between West Ham United FC and Swansea City FC on 1 February 2014.
“The independent tribunal resolved that there was no serious issue to be tried and also awarded the FA its costs.”
West HAm manager Allardyce believed the east London club were right to take the matter further, with the fallout from the FA’s decision dominating the scheduled pre-match media conference on Friday morning before the final decision of the tribunal was known.
“I think the whole procedure in terms of how we put our case together and the vast swell of people felt it was unjust and for me the panel has not seen it how they should have seen it and as the evidence we gave,” he said.
“In this case they were looking at it from the view of one thing only: was it an obvious mistake?
“So we based our procedure on this, and I’m 100 per cent certain it was an obvious mistake – (referee) Howard Webb should have given a free-kick for Andy against Flores, at that stage the whistle blows and there’s no incident, so that’s an obvious mistake, because it is an obvious free-kick.
“For me the conclusion could only have been that he felt that even though he hadn’t seen it 100 per cent, he was reluctant not to give a red card on the basis that if Andy had caught him full in the face or elbowed him or used violent conduct, which he didn’t, it was at very best reckless, then he would’ve been in trouble with his group of referees and his bosses for not giving it.”