Watford defender Jose Holebas made available for FA Cup final as red card is rescinded

Watford defender Jose Holebas will be available for the FA Cup final after having his controversial red card against West Ham overturned.

MailOnline exclusively revealed yesterday morning that the Vicarage Road club were confident of having the sending off – which triggered a suspension – would be rescinded by the Football Association.

Watford appealed the red card on grounds they believed there was minimal contact between Holebas and Michail Antonio during the incident in question. 

They also felt the West Ham star over exaggerated his fall, adding to the belief that they had a strong case.

And the FA confirmed yesterday: ‘An Independent Regulatory Commission has upheld a claim of wrongful dismissal regarding José Holebas.’ 

Yesterday’s decision to rescind the booking is likely to have rested on whether referee Chris Kavanagh and his assistant Dan Cook felt they misjudged the ferocity of Holebas’ challenge and whether, in hindsight, the awarded foul prevented a clear goalscoring opportunity.

The Hornets defender was given a straight red card in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to West Ham after referee Kavanagh felt Holebas had denied Antonio a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Holebas briefly put his hand on the Hammers attacker’s shoulder as Antonio looked to race clear through on goal.

But the contact was enough for Antonio to go down and Kavanagh promptly brandished the red card meaning Holebas was banned for Saturday’s Wembley showpiece against Manchester City.   

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