Explained: Why George Honeyman CAN lead Sunderland out at Wembley despite failing in suspension appeal

George Honeyman WILL be available to lead Sunderland out at Wembley, despite his three game suspension being upheld by the FA.

By Phil Smith
Monday, 11 March, 2019, 15:57

Honeyman was shown red at Adams Park on Saturday for his part in a touchline melee.

George Honeyman was shown red in stoppage time at Adams Park

The 24-year-old had already been substituted after suffering a concussion, but was angered after a stoppage time confrontation in the dugouts.

Both he and Nathan Tyson, also taken off earlier in the game, were shown a straight red.

Sunderland appealed that decision but the ruling has gone against them, which means that the club captain will miss the league games against Barnsley, Walsall and Accrington Stanley.

He would not have been able to play on Tuesday night regardless due to concussion protocols.

The kicker was that a bizarre discrepancy in EFL and FA rules was set to deny him the chance to appear in the Checkatrade Trophy final on March 31st.

The Checkatrade Trophy is supposed to be a standalone competition in terms of suspensions and disciplinary rules.

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But under FA rules, players are banned from all games until they have served their suspension in its entirety.

The suspension can only be served in Football League, FA Cup or Carabao Cup games, as the Checkatrade Trophy - or EFL Trophy - does not count as a 'first team competitive match’ under the disciplinary rules, so Honeyman was set to effectively miss four games in total.

It was the same ruling that forced Max Power to face an extended spell on the sidelines after seeing red against Oxford United earlier in the season.

Jack Ross was infuriated by that, saying: "We felt the initial decision to send Max off was harsh. However, it has been heard fairly, and we have to accept the Football Association's decision regarding the card.

"What I cannot accept, however, is that Max is banned from playing in tonight's game, yet this does not count as part of his three-game suspension. It's absolutely nonsensical and I'm sure everyone would agree with me on that.

"We have been unfairly penalised with what is actually a four-game ban for our player, not a three-game ban as the rules state and I cannot understand how that can be the case."

There now appears to have been a mid-season u-turn on that ruling, meaning that Honeyman should be able to feature against Portsmouth.