West Ham United midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate will be available to face Sunderland on 27 February after seeing his one-match suspension rescinded by the FA. The Senegalese international started the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Blackburn Rovers last weekend, but lasted only 75 minutes of a comprehensive rout at Ewood Park before being sent off for a seemingly deliberate last-man trip on Adam Henley outside the penalty area.
That decision saw both teams reduced to 10 men following Chris Taylor's earlier dismissal for a second bookable offence, although the Hammers went on to secure a comfortable victory after Victor Moses' effort and respective braces from Fenerbahce loanee Emmanuel Emenike and the in-form Dimitri Payet cancelled out Ben Marshall's early opener.
Many believed that referee Jonathan Moss had acted too hastily in producing his red card and West Ham subsequently demonstrated their displeasure by launching an appeal for wrongful dismissal. That claim was heard in an official hearing on 23 February and resulted in the 26-year-old's ban being immediately lifted.
In a statement to confirm the decision, the FA said: "Cheikhou Kouyate's one-match suspension for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity has been withdrawn with immediate effect following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today.
"West Ham United's claim of wrongful dismissal in relation to their Emirates FA Cup fifth-round proper tie against Blackburn Rovers on Sunday 21 February 2016 was upheld."
Slaven Bilic's side are currently seventh in the Premier League, but will be searching for their first top-flight win in three matches following defeat to Southampton and a four-goal draw with Norwich. Relegation-threatened Sunderland, meanwhile, are currently one point adrift of safety but improved their chances of escaping the drop with a rousing 2-1 win over Manchester United last time out.
The fixture will represent former West Ham boss Sam Allardyce's first return to Upton Park since he was informed his contract would not be renewed just minutes after the 2014-15 campaign drew to a close. The Black Cats led 2-0 in the reverse fixture in October, but were denied what would have been their first victory of the season thanks to goals from Carl Jenkinson and Payet. Dick Advocaat resigned his post soon after.