By Craig Scott

15th Sep, 2021 | 6:40pm

Liam Cooper: Leeds United ace Pascal Struijk let down by authorities

Liam Cooper feels Pascal Struijk has been let down by the authorities after a three-match ban for the Leeds United defender was upheld by the FA.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that Leeds’ appeal against Struijk’s red card in the defeat to Liverpool had been unsuccessful.

Struijk, 22, was sent off after referee Craig Pawson realised a challenge by the Leeds centre-back caused a serious injury to Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott, who’s been brilliant on social media and said that it was an accident.

Leeds captain Cooper is disappointed by the FA’s decision and added that there’s no way Struijk meant to do what he did to Elliott.

“It’s a tough one,” said Cooper to BBC Radio Leeds, as shown on BBC Sport West Yorkshire’s Twitter account on Wednesday.

“I spoke to Pasc after the game, I sent him a little message. In my eyes, it was a freak accident.

“Harvey Elliott has obviously come out and said the same on his social media and it is a freak accident.

“To be punished for that, although it’s unfortunate for the lad, it is a freak accident and I think losing Pascal for three games is a big loss for us.

“He’s started the season unbelievably, he’s taken to the role unbelievably and he’s been great for us this season. To lose him for three games is disappointing.

“I think the authorities have maybe let Pascal down a little bit.

“I don’t know how after seeing that and what’s gone on, it’s not malicious, he’s not gone in to hurt anyone and knowing Pascal as I know him personally, he’d never do that.”

He’s spot on

Why is it that everyone is being absolutely spot on about the incident on Sunday except for the FA?

We’ve got to be a bit sympathetic towards the referee in this occasion because while he allowed play to go on, he had to be seen doing something about Elliott’s injury and sending off Struijk was all he could do.

However, it should have been rescinded by the FA.

In November 2019 – not even two years ago – Heung-min Son had his red card wiped off the books after he caused Andre Gomes of Everton to suffer a broken and dislocated ankle.

Son didn’t mean to cause a serious injury for Gomes and it’s very clear that Struijk didn’t mean to do that to Elliott either.

Elliott has been brilliant throughout all this, by the way. And the next time he’s back at Elland Road he’s bound to get a massive ovation.

The 18-year-old has been a class act on social media and Struijk is bound to have been helped out a lot by that.

In other Leeds United news, Gary Lineker reacted on Twitter to the latest twist at Elland Road.