West Ham handed major boost as star's suspension lifted

Cheikhou Kouyate's will return to action straight away after his FA Cup red card was rescinded.

West Ham United have been handed a major boost with the confirmation from the FA that Cheikhou Kouyate's red card in the FA Cup victory over Blackburn Rovers has been rescinded and the subsequent one-match suspension lifted.

The Senegalese international was dismissed for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity when the Hammers were 301 up with 15 minutes to go at Ewood Park on Sunday.

The Irons' co-chairman David Gold tweeted after the match that the club would be appealing the decision and said he believed there was a strong chance it would be overturned, and the FA have now confirmed that it has indeed been withdrawn.

A statement on the FA's website read: "Cheikhou Kouyate's one-match suspension for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity has been withdrawn with immediate effect following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.

"West Ham United’s claim of wrongful dismissal... was upheld."

The news will come as a boost to Hammers manager Slaven Bilic, with the midfielder having been a key player under the Croatian this season, playing 28 times in all competitions.

In total, the 26-year-old has scored eight goals in 60 appearances for the London club since arriving at Upton Park from Anderlecht in 2014.

West Ham, who are currently seventh in the Premier League table, face struggling Sunderland at home on Saturday.

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