Faversham Town chairman Gary Smart issues apology for FA Vase ineligible player oversight

Wednesday 27th September 2023

FAVERSHAM TOWN chairman Gary Smart has apologised for an oversight that has been made by the club in the wake of the clubs elimination from The FA Vase after being found guilty of fielding an ineligible player.


The Lilywhites announced the arrival of Jefferson Aibangbee on a ‘season long loan’ from isthmian League South East Division side Sheppey United on 21 May – and Aibangbee played in the club’s 4-0 win at Horsham YMCA in The FA Vase First Qualifying Round on 26 August 2023.

Sheppey United had confirmed that Aibangbee is still on loan at Salters Lane and Faversham Town have been found to have broken the rules of the competition that state that ‘a player on a temporary (loan) transfer including a player on a Scholarship for work experience is ineligible to play in the Competition.”

The proposed Second Qualifying Round tie between Faversham Town and Loxwood was postponed last week – and The FA have reinstated Horsham YMCA back in the competition and the Sussex side will now play Loxwood at home on Tuesday 3 October.

It was brought to our attention a week ago from a media outlet that Faversham Town Football Cub had fielded an ineligible player on the 26 of August 2023 in The FA Vase game away to Horsham YMCA, said Mr Smart in a club statement.

“After hearing this news which was very concerning, the board looked into all of the rules relating to the FA Vase competition.

“It states in the rules that no short-term temporary loan players are permitted to play in The FA Vase competition.

“The club did not believe we had a short-term loan player, the situation was we had a player on a dual reg/long-term loan player that was permitted to play for Faversham Town for the season 2023-24.”

The Football Association requested a hearing at 11 o’clock on Tuesday 26 September and have decided to eliminate Sammy Moore’s side from this season’s competition.

“It is with deep regret that such an oversight has been made by the club and personally I would like to apologise to all the playing staff, our management team and all of the supporters on behalf of the Faversham Town Football Club,” added Mr Smart.

“This was an oversight on our behalf. It was never the intention to gain an advantage in The FA Vase, no intension to disrespect this wonderful competition and it goes without saying that we are very disappointed in The FA’s decision, but we accept the decision made.

“Faversham Town Football Club will focus on all other competitions that the club are still participating in and re-focus back to our bread-and-butter objective for the season to win promotion back to the Isthmian League South East Division and focus on the cup competitions that we are still competing for.

“Internally at the football club mistakes have been made but as a team, a club and as a community, we go again.”

Faversham Town are presently in fourth-place in the Southern Counties East Football League Premier Division table with 18 points from eight games.

The top five positions are occupied by unbeaten Glebe (21 points from nine games), Corinthian (20 points from nine), Fisher (19 points from nine); Faversham Town and Punjab United (16 points from nine).

Visit Faversham Town’s website:  www.favershamtownfc.co.uk