By Adefunmiloye Alani

15th Sep, 2021 | 12:10pm

Craig Pawson told the FA the decision to issue Struijk a red card was his

Leeds defender Pascal Struijk will serve a three-match ban after losing his appeal against his sending off on Sunday, reports Phil Hay.

The Dutchman, 22, was shown a red card for his tackle on Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott during the 3-0 Premier League loss at Elland Road.

The Reds youngster was stretchered off after dislocating his ankle, and he is now set for months on the sidelines following surgery.

Leeds’ appeal was dismissed by the Football Association’s disciplinary department on Tuesday evening, and The Athletic journalist wrote on their website that referee Craig Pawson told the FA the decision to issue the red card was his, despite him failing to award a foul initially.

Hay wrote: “The Athletic understands that referee Craig Pawson told the FA that the decision to issue the red card was his, despite him failing to award a foul initially.

“The incident is believed to have been checked by VAR which ruled that there was no clear or obvious error.”

Influential factor?

Pawson did not blow for a foul as he reckoned Struijk won the ball fairly.

However, VAR Darren England assessed the incident and given the nature of the injury, the ref sent the Whites defender off.

We would never know all that was written in Pawson’s match report, but could telling the FA that the decision to issue the red card was his influenced their final decision?

As far as the PGMOL are concerned, Struijk clearly endangered Elliott even if that was not his intention, and Marcelo Bielsa’s side now has to deal with this blow.

The centre-back will miss Friday’s Premier League trip to Newcastle United, the League Cup clash with Fulham and the home game against West Ham United.

Struijk replaced Diego Llorente a few minutes into the game, and it remains to be seen whether the injured Spanish centre-back will be available for the next game.

Robin Koch is also still a doubt after missing the Liverpool match, and Bielsa could be forced to play one of his other defensive players out of position to pair Liam Cooper at St. James’ Park.

In other Leeds news, Orta contacted PL giants about Whites loan deal for exceptional centre-mid.