Ballinamallard boss Whitey Anderson furious with re-arranged play-off date with Warrenpoint Town
Whitey Anderson has hit out at local football chiefs after being told that his Ballinamallard United team must be ready to play the second leg of their promotion/relegation play-off next week — six weeks after the first leg took place.
The IFA have allowed the NIFL to extend the season beyond the May 31 cut off in order to complete the play-off fixtures, which have been delayed because of the ongoing case of Carrick Rangers manager Gary Haveron.
A mix-up caused Haveron to serve a three-match suspension in the wrong games and he was on the bench for a fixture that he should have been banned for.
The IFA’s Disciplinary Committee didn’t impose a sanction, but Warrenpoint Town have taken the case to arbitration, with a decision expected tomorrow.
Should Town’s appeal be successful, they will enter the play-off against Institute and the Mallards — 2-1 up after the first leg of the original play-off — will be safe, with Carrick being automatically relegated.
“How are players expected to be fit for a match that has so much importance in terms of where teams will be playing next season?” said Anderson, who will be succeeded by Gavin Dykes.
“We wanted the second leg to be played. It should have gone ahead and if it had we wouldn’t be in this position. We were told that there was a process, but it shows that there is something wrong with the process that it couldn’t be worked out earlier.
“If Crusaders or Linfield had been involved, I don’t think it would have dragged on so long.”
PLAY-OFF FIXTURES: Second leg: Ballinamallard v Institute (Wednesday June 15). Or First leg: Institute v Warrenpoint Town (Tuesday June 14), second leg: Warrenpoint Town v Institute (Friday June 17).