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Crusaders may get Cup reprieve after Livingston blunder

FOOTBALL

By Jim Gracey

Crusaders are looking at a lucrative lifeline back into the Scottish Irn-Bru Cup after their fourth round conquerors Livingston were found to have fielded a suspended player in their 2-1 win over the Irish League champions last week.

And we thought the Irish League held the monopoly on embarrassing ineligibility issues?

Livingston now face being thrown out of the Cup, which has opened up to Northern Ireland and Welsh sides for the first time, after fielding Alan Lithgow for the full 90 minutes.

He was banned for two games after being sent off against East Fife in late September for violent conduct. The punishment applied to all competitions.

Livingston have been requested to attend a hearing on Monday, October 24.

The Scottish club were drawn to face Welsh side The New Saints in the quarter-finals with the match due to take place on Sunday, November 13.

There is no guarantee Crusaders will be re-admitted to the competition with the rules allowing for discretion by the SPFL organisers. If Crusaders are not reinstated, TNS could be given a bye to the semis.

Crusaders have said they will await the outcome of the disciplinary hearing before making any comment.

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