Eveliina Summanen ban for deception has ‘opened a can of worms’, says Rehanne Skinner

 (The FA via Getty Images)
(The FA via Getty Images)

Tottenham manager Rehanne Skinner has criticised the “inconsistency” applied to the men and women’s game after Eveliina Summanen was handed a two-match ban for deception and questioned the behaviour of fellow boss Marc Skinner.

The Football Association on Tuesday upheld a charge against Summanen of “successful deception of a match official” after the Finnish midfielder held her face following an incident with Manchester United’s Ella Toone in a Women’s Super League match on February 12.

Toone was sent off after she shoved Summanen to the ground, but the England midfielder’s red card was rescinded and the FA this week confirmed a two-match suspension for the Spurs ace.

“First of all myself and the club don’t agree with the charge that has been made against Eveliina,” Tottenham manager Skinner said ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup match with Reading.

“We were really shocked and disappointed. I was unimpressed with the way this whole process has happened.

“I think it has opened a can of worms. I am not sure what we’re advocating, I am slightly concerned for the example we are trying to set for the wider game and also for the kids that are watching that.

“The last part is the Premier League, Football League and WSL all go by the same rules and this massively highlights the inconsistency around how things are dealt with.

“That is something that definitely needs to be addressed moving forward to make sure we move the game forward in the right direction.”

Spurs’ Skinner was also unhappy with the post-match comments of United manager Marc Skinner, who criticised Summanen and questioned the need for her to “roll around” following the incident.

The Tottenham boss also pondered the precedent set by rescinding the red card given to Toone, who apologised on social media after the sending off.

Skinner added: “For me, commenting on other peoples’ players is definitely beneath the standards and values that I have and I am prepared to go to.

“I don’t think we need to contribute to the pressures that are going on in their lives at the moment and the way they are trying to compete to the best of their ability, so that’s disappointing that that’s happened.

“A player has made a foul, there is then a situation where players are on the floor, and whenever you are raising hands in that situation, going at someone aggressively, if we are not interpreting the rule about violent conduct in the right way, that then is a bigger problem we need to look in to.

“Essentially it is if you attempt to use excessive force or brutality against an opponent when you are not challenging for the ball. That’s the rule.

“In a situation where that has actually happened and is evident, the challenge we face is what precedent are we trying to set and what will it look like moving forward if that is something that is okay?”

Skinner did praise Summanen’s “character and resilience” in response to the incident.