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Ballymena and Cliftonville facing nervy wait as IFA set to rule on Irish Cup suspensions

 

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David Jeffrey is currently banned for Ballymena's Irish Cup semi-final

David Jeffrey is currently banned for Ballymena's Irish Cup semi-final

David Jeffrey is currently banned for Ballymena's Irish Cup semi-final

Ballymena United and Cliftonville will find out tomorrow if their suspended players and staff have been given an Irish Cup reprieve.

Manager David Jeffrey and defender Steven McCullough are both due to miss out on Ballymena's Semi-Final showdown with Coleraine next Monday, while Jamie Harney and Garry Breen are suspended for Cliftonville's tie against Glentoran, which takes place a couple of hours later.

The respective bans were picked up earlier this year before Covid-19 shut football down, however the Reds and Sky Blues have pointed to Article 15.3 of the IFA's disciplinary code, which says that if a match is abandoned, cancelled or voided through no fault of the club - as was the case when the pandemic forced the scrapping of seven remaining rounds of Danske Bank Premiership fixtures - any suspension imposed will be deemed served.

A response to their appeals is due to be conveyed to the two clubs tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Ballinamallard United, Institute and PSNI will find out this week how their own appeals to the IFA have fared.

The Mallards were put under investigation by the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) following concerns from the IFA about finance and have co-operated with enquiries throughout.

"It's still an open case and an independent panel is working on it," said a NIFL source.

"The panel wrote to Ballinamallard last week to request a face-to-face meeting and the outcome will come off the back of that."

Stute and PSNI are appealing against relegations from the Premiership and Championship respectively, imposed upon them following long dialogue and much acrimony among the NIFL clubs.

"NIFL responded to the appeal through the IFA," said the source. "Institute have responded, NIFL is considering the Institute response and will go to the IFA this week."

Belfast Telegraph