Soucek has endeared himself to West Ham supporters and FPL managers alike since moving to England from his native Czech Republic a little over a year ago, thanks to his propensity to pop up untracked in the penalty box to score.
Since making his Premier League debut for the Hammers against Brighton on 1 February 2020, Soucek has netted 11 goals – more than Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Roberto Firmino to name a few – despite playing predominantly as a defensive midfielder.
That output combined with Soucek’s economical price of £5.4m on FPL has ensured that he has become one of the most popular players in the game. With over 18 per cent ownership Soucek is in considerably more teams than Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling and Sadio Mane.
However, Saturday’s controversial red card for an elbow on Aleksandar Mitrovic in the dying embers of an otherwise forgettable encounter at Craven Cottage meant that Soucek’s points went from three down to zero in a matter of seconds.
Soucek’s red card rescinded
The decision to award Soucek a first-ever career red card was met with widespread disbelief and indignation and not just from West Ham players or FPL managers.
“He’s tried to get his arm out of the way. Mitrovic has tried to grab him, and he lifts his arm to get it out of the way, and completely by accident he catches him. What is football coming to when we give that as a red card? Even the players can’t believe it,” said Jamie Redknapp on Sky Sports.
“The fact that Mike Dean went over there and though it was a red card is a genuine worry for me. I’d like to see Mike Dean come out, say he’s looked at it overnight and admit that he’s made a huge mistake.”
Common sense has prevailed and the decision has been swiftly overturned, enabling Soucek to play against Manchester United in the FA Cup and Sheffield United in the Premier League next Monday.
A West Ham statement read: “The appeal against Soucek’s red card was reviewed by an independent regulatory commission this morning at the Football Association and, following this process, the midfielder’s suspension has been rescinded and lifted with immediate effect.”
Dean has disgracefully received death threats over the past couple of days following the incident and will not referee a Premier League game this weekend after asking to be stood down.
Will FPL managers get their Soucek points back?
With Soucek’s red card having now been rescinded, FPL managers who started him this week may feel deserving of a few additional points for Gameweek 23.
However, Fantasy Premier League’s rulebook makes it clear that the overturned ban makes no difference.
Fantasy Premier League’s FAQ’s
Q: A yellow/red card decision or goalscorer has been changed in an earlier match. Are you going to alter the points?
A: Once the points have all been updated on that day, no further adjustments to points will be made.
Soucek will certainly not be the first player to lose FPL points after being on the wrong end of an erroneous red card decision.
Last week, Southampton defender Jan Bednarek was dismissed during his team’s 9-0 thrashing against Manchester United, before the decision was overturned which cleared him to play against Newcastle United on Saturday.
Having already scored an own goal at Old Trafford, Bednarek went on to register -7 points, the lowest of any player in the history of FPL, which has remained in place despite the red card subsequently being removed.
A more famous incident occurred during the 2017-18 season when the Premier League awarded Harry Kane a goal against Stoke City after it had originally gone down as a Christian Eriksen strike. Despite that, both Kane and Eriksen’s points remained unimpacted.
“While the goal has now been awarded to Harry Kane after review, this will not be reassigned in Fantasy Premier League and therefore points will not be modified,” an FPL statement read.
“As stated in the game rules, points awarded in-game are subject to change up until one hour after the final whistle of the last match of any given day. Once the points have been updated on that day, no further adjustments are made.”
Want more tips? Sign up for i‘s fantasy football newsletter to receive these tips and an exclusive bonus tip in your email inbox before every gameweek
How to get involved with i…
- Join i’s league on the official Fantasy Premier League game to pit your wits against fellow readers – and our hapless sports desk team. Code: gepj18
- Join our Facebook group where you can swap tricks and tactics with hundreds of other i readers throughout the campaign
More on FPL
How the chips work