Phoenix Sports removed from The FA Cup after playing suspended player at Lancing

Friday 21st September 2018

PHOENIX SPORTS have been removed from The FA Cup on the eve of their trip to Hendon in the Second Qualifying Round after playing a suspended player.


New rules have come in this season where a player is suspended for their next Cup tie if they pick up their second booking in that competition and the club fielded a suspended player during their 3-0 replay win at Lancing in the last round.

“Due to an administrative error we fielded a player in the replay against Lancing that should have been serving a one match ban,” said a club statement.

“This was an honest but very costly and disappointing mistake made by us. Apologies to all the players and supporters that were looking forward to the game on Saturday.

“Apologies to our opponents Hendon and all at Silver Jubilee Park, that would have put a lot of time and effort in preparing for the game.

“To be removed from the competition is a real blow for the club.  Mistakes unfortunately do happen, this is just a very big one.”

Evo-Stik Southern Premier League side Hendon are now expected to face Lancing in a delayed Second Qualifying Round tie on a date to be arranged.

A Hendon statement, which was posted on said: "We are sorry to have to announce the postponement of tomorrow's FA Cup tie with Phoenix Sports.

"Unfortuantely we were informed this evening that The FA have started an investigation into an allegation that Phoenix Sports played an ineligible player in the previous round against Lancing.  As a consequence our tie cannot go ahead as planned."

Cray Valley manager Kevin Watson, who takes his in-form Southern Counties East Football League side to Vanarama National League South side Oxford City, doesn’t agree with the new rule.

On Twitter, he said on Saturday morning: “Not a well thought out rule.  We have played four games in the competition and have a player (Anthony Edgar) suspended today for two bookings. 

"The FA are penalising teams for entering the competition early.  The teams entering the competition today will not be facing any suspensions.

“But worst of all, players are having the opportunity to play in the biggest game of their careers taken away,  Our suspended player picked up both bookings against the same team due to the replay.”

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