Belfast Telegraph

Portadown's hopes high as Robert Garrett ban row rumbles on

By Graham Luney

Portadown remain hopeful of escaping a three-point deduction even though Robert Garrett played in the 3-1 victory over Ards last Saturday when he should have been suspended.

The Northern Ireland Football League and Ards raised the issue of Garrett's appearance and the Irish FA Disciplinary Committee discussed the matter last night.

Most observers expect the Shamrock Park side to lose the three points with Ards handed a 3-0 victory, but no decision was reached and there may not be a ruling until next week.

Portadown have been asked for more observations and the club must also decide whether to play Garrett in Saturday's game at Glentoran.

After picking up five yellow cards, Garrett was to serve a one-match ban, effective from Monday, October 24. However, Ports officials have argued that the Irish FA's website published wrong information relating to the timing of suspensions.

The 2015-2016 rules, which saw suspensions applied two weeks after a fifth yellow card, no longer apply as they were changed in the close season but Portadown have questioned whether the IFA's rules on their website were correct.

A three-point deduction will leave the Ports on a total of minus three after 14 matches, eight adrift of Carrick Rangers.

They are still reeling from a 12-point deduction before the start of the season for making irregular payments to players and the club are still looking for a new boss with Vinny Arkins in temporary charge after Pat McGibbon's resignation.

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