Obafemi Martins eligible against Whitecaps after red card appeal upheld

USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Sounders appeal red card and are proven right when MLS panel overturns Ricardo Salazar's decision.

Saturday's match with over 50,000 fans could involve backflips as Obafemi Martins will now be eligible to play for the Seattle Sounders. The team appealed the red card handed out after his 71st minute tackle and the review panel sided with Seattle.

"We're happy that the process works," Sigi Schmid said to the media today.

Sigi Schmid will be able to start Lamar Neagle and Martins at forward.

"Getting Oba back is a big plus for us. Oba and Lamar have played together fairly well," Schmid said. "To be able to come back with those two is a huge plus and helps us in terms of making our lineup decisions this week especially with Eddie being gone."

The match will still have a reduced midfield due to injury (Alonso could be back for the next game, Zakuani 6 to 8 weeks), suspension (Joseph for this match) and international duty (Evans, Martinez).

For an appeal to be upheld the decision of the review panel must be unanimous agreement that the call was obviously wrong (per link below). Seattle will not be charged with an appeal and so can still wrongly, but not frivolously appeal future red cards.

MLS Press Release

NEW YORK (June 5, 2013) - An independent review panel has rescinded the fine and one-game suspension for a red card issued to Seattle Sounders FC forward Obafemi Martins in the 71st minute of Sunday's game against Chivas USA (VIDEO). Martins will be eligible for Seattle's game this Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

The independent review panel consists of one representative from each of the following entities: U.S. Soccer Federation, Canadian Soccer Association, and Professional Referees Organization (PRO). For more on the red card review process, CLICK HERE.

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