• Premier League

West Ham hire QC to fight Carroll ban

ESPN staff
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ESPN FC: Carroll loses appeal


West Ham have instructed one of Britain's top lawyers in a bid to overturn Andy Carroll's three-match suspension, according to reports.

Carroll, 25, was sent off by referee Howard Webb in the second half of the Hammers' 2-0 win on Saturday after catching Chico Flores with his arm.

The Hammers lodged an appeal against the decision, but the ban was upheld by the FA on Tuesday. The ban rules Carroll out for the rest of February, when West Ham face Aston Villa, fellow relegation contenders Norwich and Southampton.

The striker himself took to Twitter to announce his frustration at the decision and, according to The Sun and the Daily Telegraph, West Ham will take their fight against the ruling further.

Both papers report that the club have hired Lord Pannick QC to look for ways to challenge the decision.

Pannick is a crossbench peer in the House of Lords, who in the past has acted for the FA in its case against Wayne Rooney's agent, Paul Stretford, in 2007.

The 57-year-old, who writes a bi-weekly law column for The Times, also represented Chelsea when they were accused of "tapping up" then-Arsenal defender Ashley Cole in 2006.

After the Swansea match, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce described the red card as "an injustice".

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