West Ham United have just announced that the red card defender Fabian Balbuena received in the 1-0 defeat to Chelsea has now been overturned following an appeal.
Balbuena was extremely unfortunate to be shown a straight red card in the 79th minute of the encounter after his boot unintentionally planted into Ben Chilwell’s leg after a clearance.
Referee Chris Kavanagh reviewed the incident on the pitchside VAR monitor and deemed that Balbuena had committed serious foul play, in a shocking decision that shattered the Hammers’ hopes of a result.
It was a very closely-matched encounter between the London sides when the overshadowing moment occurred with over 10 minutes of regulation left to play.
The centre-back being unfairly handed his marching orders left it impossible for the Hammers to come back into the tie, in a moment that may well prevent them from qualifying for the Champions League.
We can confirm that Fabian Balbuena’s red card in Saturday’s Premier League fixture against Chelsea has been overturned on appeal. The defender will now be eligible for our trip to Burnley.
— West Ham United (@WestHam) April 27, 2021
To make the moment even more bitter for Balbuena, it came in his first Premier League start of the year, in a chance for the Paraguayan to prove he deserves a starting spot over the returning Craig Dawson.
Chelsea snatched the Hammers’ fourth-placed spot with the win, with this decision leading to an unfavourable result which may well be impossible to come back from in an otherwise stellar season.