Wexford deducted points and fined for fielding suspended player against Athlone Town

Wed, Jul 04 2018

Wexford boss Damian Locke. Credit: Steve Alfred

Wexford have been fined and had the result of their league tie with Athlone Town overturned after mistakenly fielding an ineligible player.

Second-from-bottom Wexford beat bottom side Athlone 1-0 thanks to John Morgan's first-half, stretching Athlone's run to 35 games without a win.

However Damian Locke introduced Thomas Croke as a 65th-minute substitute for Ryan Nolan, unaware that he was on the suspensions list sent to the club by the FAI.

As reported at the time by extratime.ie, Croke was on the list of suspended players distributed to the media, despite both this site and the league's own website only having four yellow cards listed.

The club today confirmed that the league have quashed the result and the club have been issued with a fine as a deterrant.

It's the second time in less than 12 months that Wexford have fallen foul of the rules on this matter. They forfeited a game against Shelbourne in September after fielding an unregistered under-17 goalkeeper, Colum Feeney.

A club statement read: “On Friday night last we were delighted to come away with a win in Lissywollen vs Athlone Town FC.

“After the match, it became clear that our player Thomas Croke, who came on as a second half replacement, should not have taken any part in the game as he was on the player suspension list last week.

“We as a club had been properly advised of this but due to human error, this message was not picked up by team management, and the mistake was made.

“As a result, the club has lost the points and will receive a fine.

“To say that we are deeply disappointed is an understatement. In a season when wins have been few and far between, it is a crushing blow to lose this one off the field of play.

“However, the issue was due to an internal communications break down and we wish to apologise unreservedly to players, supporters, and all who love Wexford FC.

“We are taking steps to ensure no such communications break down can happen in the future.”

Wexford face Cabinteely at Stradbrook Park on Friday evening (kick-off 7.45pm).