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Crusaders claim suspension victory as bans scrapped following Irish Cup tie at Glentoran


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Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter

Crusaders manager Stephen Baxter

Crusaders have won their fight to overturn sanctions imposed on goalkeeper Gerard Doherty and manager Stephen Baxter.

Baxter, Doherty and midfielder Jordan Forsythe received red cards from referee Andrew Davey during the Crues' Irish Cup defeat to Glentoran in February.

Davey had said he spotted Doherty throw "at least one" bottle thrown at him back into the crowd after the Irish Cup quarter-final loss at The Oval.

Doherty and Baxter were fined £100, while Glentoran were also financially punished after misbehaviour from some of their fans on the day.

The north Belfast club were unhappy with what they thought were unfair delays in the Irish FA hearing the cases.

Forsythe was cleared of assault and received no further ban on top of his two-game suspension, while Doherty served a two-match ban and received another two-game penalty, with Baxter having one game of a three-match ban to serve.

Crusaders' appeal was based on the successful case taken by Cliftonville and Ballymena United ahead of the Irish Cup semi-finals against outstanding bans that would have been served but for the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Irish FA stated: "An Irish FA Appeals Committee has ruled in favour of Crusaders in their appeal against the Irish FA Disciplinary Committee in respect of sanctions imposed on player Gerard Doherty and manager Stephen Baxter.

“The Appeal Board has ruled that the delay in dealing with the matter had meant that the sanctions were not considered as served in line with the Cliftonville arbitration ruling, that this was unfair and that the suspensions should now be considered as spent in line with this decision.”

Crusaders argued that they had suffered detriment as a result of the matters to be dealt with at the Disciplinary Hearing not having being handled with expeditiously and that various aspects of the disciplinary hearing were flawed.

The Appeals Committee ruling said: “The disciplinary hearing was not dealt with expeditiously which unfairly prejudiced the Club. It is important to note that the Club have not appealed against the charges or sanctions imposed and the Appeal Board by finding for the Club in this appeal do not in any way condone the behaviour of the individuals concerned.”

Glentoran scored a controversial late penalty at the Oval to knock the 2019 Irish Cup winners out of the competition. Davey said Doherty was shown a straight red card for “violent conduct” after retaliating to Glentoran fans. A complaint made by Crusaders about the conduct of whistler Davey was not upheld, though the Bangor official received a warning about the use of industrial language. Forsythe was sent off in injury time for pushing a ball boy.

Meanwhile, the Irish FA has agreed a renewed two-year deal with official training aid supplier, Precision, providing equipment for the senior men’s, senior women’s, under-21s as well as youth teams, grassroots activities and futsal programme.

Belfast Telegraph