The picture which could seal West Ham's fate over Kouyate red card appeal

Cheikhou Kouyaté: By The Numbers:  : 20160319

West Ham United fans were furious with referee Mark Clattenburg for sending off Cheikhou Kouyate in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace last time out.

The Hammers are flying high in the Premier League and pushing for a place in the Champions League under Slaven Bilic this season.

But West Ham's progress was hampered when they were held to a draw after key midfielder Kouyate was controversially sent off for a challenge on Palace's Dwight Gayle with the Hammers winning 2-1.

The Eagles went on to equalise but after the game manager Alan Pardew joined Bilic in admitting the straight red was harsh.

Legendary Premier League strikers Ian Wright and Alan Shearer had a lively debate and difference of opinion about the sending off on BBC's Match of the Day after the game.

Former ref Graham Poll told The Daily Mail Clattenburg got it wrong and blamed it on the pressure the officials are under to perform ahead of Euro 2016.

The Hammers even insisted they would be appealing the decision with co-owner David Gold confirming as much on his Twitter account after the game.

Picture puts paid to appeal?

But the word among Hammers fans this week is that the club will not be appealing the decision, which could be extended to four games if it fails.

And that could be because, for all the feeling of injustice around Upton Park, this picture more or less seals the Senegal's star's fate.

As Kouyate left the field he held his hands aloft to the crowd in an apologetic manner.

While the gesture was refreshing to see it was not befitting of a man who feels he was completely innocent.

Appeal process reserved for blatant errors

And the appeal process is only in place for decisions which are blatantly wrong rather than deemed harsh.

Ironically Kouyate has already seen a straight red card overturned once this season following his incorrect sending off against Blackburn in the FA Cup.

But this time he would face missing three crucial matches with Arsenal next up followed by Manchester United for a place in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and away to league leaders Leicester City.

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