Coleraine should be preparing for an Irish Cup quarter-final clash tomorrow afternoon but Irish FA chiefs took longer than expected to issue punishments following the Newry City-Larne brawl.
The fifth-round tie was abandoned after 82 minutes on January 16 but the Bannsiders were left waiting on a decision until Monday this week.
The IFA awarded City a 2-1 success and the border boys will face Loughgall at Lakeview Park in the sixth round tomorrow, with the winners earning a final eight scrap at the Coleraine Showgrounds on March 13.
David Platt’s side will, therefore, not taste the magic of the Cup tomorrow and will instead host Lisburn Distillery in the Carling Premiership.
The Larne Board met last night to consider taking out a court injunction against the IFA ruling but the whole episode has also left a sour taste in Coleraine’s mouth.
It’s another chapter in the life of the Irish Football Association that doesn’t make pretty reading.
The matter was not dealt with swiftly or decisively, but Platt desperately hopes that lessons will have been learned at Windsor Avenue.
“I’m very disappointed with the way the matter was handled but I am a great believer in saying that none of us are perfect and when mistakes are made you learn from them and don’t repeat them,” said Platt.
“I know people have been critical of the IFA but I like to have faith in people and believe that they will learn lessons when the time is right to.
“The measure of someone is how they act after making a mistake. I would be very concerned if people didn’t learn lessons and kept repeating mistakes.
“Things like this should not be repeated. We have had to reschedule games because the IFA took so long to decide what they would do.
“The rules preventing players who have switched clubs from playing in cup competitions also needs to be looked at.”