Belfast Telegraph

Portadown fined and forfeit match over ineligible player inclusion

Portadown Football Club has been fined and made to forfeit a match for fielding an ineligible player.

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.

On Thursday the Irish FA issued a statement.

It said: "Following consideration of Portadown’s written comments, the Discipline Committee has today charged the club with a breach of Article 22.1 of the Disciplinary Code namely, ineligibility through suspension.

"As a result, the club has been sanctioned with a £350 fine and will forfeit the match by the score 3-0.

"The Committee in considering the matter was mindful of the recent Warrenpoint Town Arbitration decision which confirmed that the Committee does not appear to enjoy a discretion in relation to a player who participated in a match whilst under suspension.

"Paragraph 37 of the decision states ‘It follows that I consider that Article 23.1 of the Disciplinary Code when construed in the light of Article 1.6 gives a discretion to the Disciplinary Committee in cases in which the offence is committed by an official rather than by a player.

"It follows that I consider that if the offence had been committed by aplayer the discretion would be excluded by the AoA and the relevant provisions of FIFA and UEFA.

"In addition, the Committee was satisfied that Portadown knew or ought to have known the current rules with regards to suspensions."

Portadown sit on a total of minus three league points after 14 matches, eight adrift of Carrick Rangers following the ruling.

The club was handed 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.

Ards move up to 7th in table on 20 points.

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