Belfast Telegraph

Moan mistake will earn Warrenpoint a slap on wrist

By Stuart McKinley

It has only taken one game for a player eligibility issue to hit the Danske Bank Premiership this season.

Warrenpoint Town are in the dock after fielding defender Stephen Moan against Ballinamallard United in their Dankse Bank Premiership opener on Saturday afternoon, when the player should have been serving a one-match suspension.

Moan's name appeared on a suspensions list at the end of last season, ironically on the same list as his team mates Johnny Frazer and Daniel Hughes, who Warrenpoint did remember to omit at the weekend and they will be available for tonight's meeting with Portadown at Shamrock Park.

Point, however, will escape any major punishment as they lost the game 1-0 and will face only a small fine.

An Irish FA spokesperson confirmed that Moan should have been serving a ban, saying: "Stephen Moan's name appeared on the suspensions list following games played in the week commencing Monday April 27.

"He received a fifth caution on Tuesday April 28 and was subsequently issued with a mandatory one-match suspension.

"That suspension commenced on Monday May 18, but obviously there were no matches played from that date until Saturday August 8 and he should have served the suspension on that date.

"The matter will now be dealt with by the Irish FA's Disciplinary Committee."

The spokesman also added that it is the responsibility of individual clubs to check the suspensions list, which is posted on the Irish FA website each Friday.

Warrenpoint are now facing punishment under Article 23 of the Irish FA Disciplinary Code. That explains that a fine of £350 is issued against a player who plays while under suspension and that the match is forfeited and a 3-0 defeat awarded against them.

The fact that Ballinamallard United won the game 1-0 means that the result is unlikely to be affected.

Nobody from Warrenpoint Town was available to comment on the matter last night.

Earlier this year the County Down club's signing of striker Darren Forsyth from Glenavon raised another eligibility issue.

It was felt that he had breached the rule which prevents a player turning out for three clubs during one season after also playing junior football in the Republic of Ireland, but an investigation ruled him not guilty.

WARRENPOINT Town's home match with Cliftonville later this month will become only the fifth??? Irish League match ever to be played on a Sunday.

The game had been scheduled for Saturday August 29, but both clubs have agreed to put it back 24 hours to the Sunday afternoon.

Belfast Telegraph

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