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Portadown begin their plea to rescind Chris Casement red card

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Sent off: Chris Casement saw red for a ‘headbutt’ last week

Sent off: Chris Casement saw red for a ‘headbutt’ last week

Pacemaker Press

Sent off: Chris Casement saw red for a ‘headbutt’ last week

Portadown have officially launched their bid to have full-back Chris Casement cleared to play in Saturday's Irish Cup semi-final.

The Ports are hoping that video evidence, as well as a written statement from Dungannon Swifts' Terry Fitzpatrick - both of which have been sent to the Irish FA - will exonerate Casement and allow him to face Ballymena United in the last-four showdown at The Oval (5.30pm).

Casement was one of two Portadown players who were dismissed during last Saturday's 1-1 draw with the Swifts at Shamrock Park, along with midfielder Robert Garrett.

Match officials confirmed after the game that Casement had been sent off for a headbutting offence - something which the player has strenuously denied.

With Casement protesting his innocence, the club immediately set about gathering evidence before beginning a process of appealing the punishment and the red card - and with Saturday in mind they have urged the IFA to treat the matter with the utmost urgency.

Casement said on Twitter: "Saw the footage last night of my sending off for an apparent 'headbutt'. As I and Terry Fitzpatrick have said, no headbutt.

"Our heads don't even come together. Appeal has been put in, along with a letter from Terry confirming no headbutt took place.

"Hopefully the right thing is done and the ban is rescinded. Fair play to Fitzpatrick regardless of what happens. Gentleman."

Not only is Casement facing the prospect of missing Saturday's semi-final, if the appeal isn't successful his season could effectively be over as players deemed guilty of headbutting are hit with a six-match ban.

He would be available for Saturday week's Premiership trip to Warrenpoint Town, but the only other match he would be eligible for this season would be the Irish Cup final - if the Ports are in it.

There is a precedent already this season of a player being cleared of headbutting on video evidence.

Ballinamallard United's Johnny Laverty was sent off in an Irish Cup game, also against Dungannon, but had his six-match suspension scrubbed after a successful appeal.

Belfast Telegraph