Eunan O’Kane will serve a three-match ban after Leeds United decided against an appeal over his red card at Ipswich Town.
Head coach Thomas Christiansen had urged Leeds to challenge O’Kane’s dismissal in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Portman Road but the club allowed yesterday’s noon deadline for an appeal to the Football Association to pass after fresh footage over the weekend showed O’Kane striking Ipswich defender Jonas Knudsen with his head.
Christiansen mounted a spirited defence of O’Kane at full-time after the midfielder was accused of headbutting Knudsen as the pair came together following a 37th-minute challenge by O’Kane on Callum Connolly.
Referee Robert Jones, however, was a few yards from the incident and despite initial replays appearing inconclusive, footage posted online on Sunday revealed O’Kane leading with his head as Knudsen moved to confront him.
O’Kane, whose red card was the first of his career, will now miss Saturday’s clash with Millwall at Elland Road and subsequent matches against Hull City and Cardiff City.
His dismissal at Ipswich followed on from Samuel Saiz landing a six-match ban for spitting during Leeds’ FA Cup defeat to Newport County a week earlier.
Christiansen laid the blame for Saturday’s incident at Knudsen’s door, saying: “The opponent went to him (O’Kane), they touched each other, yes, but the one that went down was the opponent and it was him that came and provoked.
“They touched each other but there was no sign that he (O’Kane) goes to reply.
“The one who goes to the ground is the one who stayed on the pitch.”