Why Andre Onana Won’t Be Suspended for FA Cup Final Despite Two Yellow Cards vs Coventry

Why Andre Onana Won’t Be Suspended for FA Cup Final Despite Two Yellow Cards vs Coventry

Martin Moses
updated at April 22, 2024 at 1:04 PM
In this article:
André Onana logo
A. Onana
Manchester United logoGCameroon logo
Emiliano Martínez logo
E. Martínez
Aston Villa logoGArgentina logo
Manchester United logo
Manchester United
FA Cup logo
FA Cup
UEFA Europa Conference League logo
Aston Villa logo
Aston Villa
  • Andre Onana will be available for selection in the FA Cup final
  • Onana received two yellow cards in the semis vs Coventry City
  • Sports Brief outlines why his and Emi Martinez's cases varied

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Coventry City delivered a classic FA Cup semi-final performance on April 21 when they almost knocked out Manchester United.

The Championship side came from three goals down to force the game into extra time and penalties.

Andre Onana saved Callum O'Hare's effort while Ben Sheaf skied his attempt to send the Red Devils through to the final against Manchester City.

Andre Onana, Emi Martinez, Manchester United, Coventry City, FA Cup, UEFA Conference League, yellow card rules
Andre Onana celebrates after Manchester United qualified for the 2024 FA Cup semi-final on April 21 at Wembley Stadium. Photo by Crystal Pix/MB Media.
Source: Getty Images

It was a close shave for Erik ten Hag, whose long-term future at the club is already hanging in the balance.

Apart from the drama of going three goals up, to the collapse and eventual penalty shoot-out win, Onana was also at the centre of the proceedings at Wembley Stadium after he received two yellow cards.

Why Onana wasn't sent off despite getting two yellow cards

Ordinarily, two yellow cards in the same game should warrant a player's sending-off, but as IFAB Laws section 10 dictates, all bookings will be wiped out when the teams head to penalty shoot-outs.

The incident first came to the fore in midweek after fans noticed that Emi Martinez was booked during the shoot-out between Aston Villa and Lille in the UEFA Conference League quarter-final. The World Cup-winning goalkeeper was up to his usual antics during the shoot-out and was booked for it - his second of the game.

"I think no one knew! I have so many years in football and it's never happened!" confessed Lille manager, Paul Fonseca, after the game, as quoted by TNT Sports.

However, a significant difference between the two cases is that while Martinez would be banned for the semi-final first-leg, Onana will be available for the FA Cup final against Manchester City.

Will Onana be available for FA Cup final?

The explanation boils down to a difference in rules for yellow cards in UEFA competitions and the FA Cup. In the former, as Sports Brief explained, a player will serve a one-match suspension if he collects three yellow cards before the semi-final stage.

The player will also be suspended for one game if he reaches an odd number of yellow cards, five or seven, after the initial suspension. This rule is, however, wiped out when the player gets to the semi-final to avoid the possibility of him missing the final due to accumulated cards.

Martinez's second booking in Lille was his third of the campaign before the semi-final, and thus, he will miss the first leg against Olympiacos.

However, in the FA Cup, the accumulated cards (two) are removed after the quarter-final, as captured in the Essential FA handbook. Had Onana gotten the two cards earlier in the competition, he would have been banned for the next game.

The only way a player could miss the FA Cup final is by getting a red card in the semi-final or in the game preceding the final, as a red card suspension can be served in a cup game. Case in point - Nick Pope missing the 2023 Carabao Cup final for a red card picked up in a league game.

Antony criticised for post-match behaviour

Sports Brief also recently reported that Antony has been slammed for goading Coventry City players after Manchester United qualified for the FA Cup final.

The Championship side took the tie all the way to penalties, with Rasmus Hojlund scoring a decisive kick and Antony spotted ridiculing their opposition.

Martin Moses photo
Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)