Tottenham midfielder Eveliina Summanen was issued a two-match suspension for her part in convincing referees to eject England star Emma Toone, during Manchester United’s 2-1 WSL win Feb. 12, the Football Association announced Tuesday.
Toone was given a red card after a confrontation with Summanen toward the end of the match. Toone was seen shoving Summanen’s shoulders back down to the pitch. Shortly after, Summanen grabbed her face dramatically as if she had been struck there.
Manchester United manager Marc Skinner reportedly called Summanen’s actions “play acting,” and vowed to appeal the three-match suspension that accompanied Toone’s red card.
The appeal was successful, and an independent hearing found Summanen had committed a “successful deception of a match official.” Since the deception led to Toone’s ejection, it “amounts to improper conduct,” the FA’s statement said.
Tottenham are “very disappointed” and “shocked” by the Summanen’s suspension, BBC Sport reported.
Summanen denied the charge, and will reportedly continue to make inquiries into the verdict. She will miss an FA Cup match against Reading on Feb. 26 and a WSL game at Manchester City on March 5.
Speaking in a Wednesday news conference, Skinner said he was pleased with the FA’s decision and relieved about Toone’s availability.
“I’m absolutely delighted that the right decision was made, whatever happens, the game is done, it’s dusted,” he said. “Whatever’s happened now has happened, but I’m delighted that we have Ella available.
Skinner expanded on his comments to seemingly address Toone’s decision to push Summanen:
“Just so we’re very clear, we still talk about our actions and what our responsibilities are within our actions, everything’s always going to be about education for our players and it’s our responsibility within that,” he added. “But the right decision has been made and it’s been upheld by the FA and by an advisory board so for us it felt that it was the right decision at the time and now it’s been vindicated to be.
“For me, what I think’s really important is it’s a moment in time, we all learned from it and we move forward so I’m happy we have Ella available for those upcoming games.”
Now, Manchester United will enjoy Toone’s availability, while Tottenham attempts to get Summanen reinstated.