This is how Sunderland can overturn Luke O’Nien’s controversial red card

Sunderland are set to launch an appeal against Luke O’Nien's dismissal at Peterborough United - but what does the process entail?

Sunday, 1st September 2019, 11:30 am
Updated Sunday, 1st September 2019, 11:30 am
Here's how Sunderland could overturn Luke O'Nien's red card at Peterborough

Jack Ross confirmed in the aftermath of the 3-0 defeat that the Black Cats would be appealing the decision, with the Sunderland manager set to discuss the incident with the referee.

Craig Hicks flashed the red card in the second half, after an off-the-bal altercation with Ivan Toney - although later footage suggested the incident was perhaps exaggerated by the former Newcastle United striker.

A successful appeal would see O’Nien’s three-game ban overturned, but what happens when a club tries to appeal a red card?

Here's exactly what happens in the process:

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When do clubs need to appeal a red card by?

Clubs have until 1pm on the first working day following the game in which the red card was given to appeal the decision.

The Black Cats will also have to pay for the appeal, and will not receive the sum back should they be unsuccessful.

Can Sunderland submit any evidence?

Yes. Sunderland can submit written evidence and a copy of the incident on the DVD.

Footage has already circulated on social media showing the incident and it is likely that similar clips will be submitted by the Black Cats.

However, neither O’Nien nor the referee can attend the meeting to give evidence in person.

Who makes the decision on whether to overturn the red card?

The appeal against the red card is heard by an Independent Regulatory Commission - a panel put together by the FA to decide on such matters.

Generally, the panel is comprised of three individuals who are not affiliated with the FA who assess the footage and written evidence before deciding whether a suspension is fair given the incident.

What do they consider when making a decision?

The commission have to see that there was an 'obvious error' in order to overturn the ban.

This means there must be a glaringly obvious mistake from the official for the ban to be overturned.

They aren't debating whether or not they feel the decision is harsh, they are merely looking for a clear error which should result in the ban being overturned.

Naturally, this sets a high precedent and is why many appeals are unsuccessful.

Can the ban be extended?

Yes - should the commission uphold the ban they can add matches on to the suspension at their discretion.

This is rarely seen, however.

When will a decision be made?

The commission tend to meet on a Thursday, but that date may change given the upcoming international break.

Nonetheless, they will definitely meet before the Black Cats’ trip to Accrington Stanley on September 14.

Could Ivan Toney receive any punishment?

Yes. Should it be found that the Peterborough’s strikers actions resulted in O’Nien being unfairly dismissed, he could be charged with ‘successful deception of a match official’.

The rule, which was brought into force before the 2017/18 season, means that the FA can retrospectively punish players.

The FA rules state: “Where there is clear and overwhelming evidence to suggest a match official has been deceived by an act of simulation, and as a direct result, the offending player’s team has been awarded a penalty and/or an opposing player has been dismissed, The FA will be able to act retrospectively under its Fast Track system.”

Toney would likely receive a minimum of a two-match ban if found to have deceived the match official, although it could be longer should the FA which to use the suspension as a deterrent.

Can Sunderland appeal Charlie Wyke’s dismissal?No. Only straight red cards can be appealed – there is no appeal process against two cautions.