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Kilrea United 'in limbo' over FIFA fine

Crowdfunding page an option to save club

Local soccer club's future in doubt

Kilrea United Chairman Davy Shiels says the club 'are in limbo' following a FIFA decision to fine the club 10,000 Swiss Francs (CHF) over a player registration issue.

The club's future is under threat after FIFA's Disciplinary Committee hit them with a fine of 10,000 Swiss Francs (CHF), one that cannot be appealed under FIFA's Disciplinary Code.  Article 57.1 states that fines under 15,000 CHF, issued to a club, cannot be appealed.

It follows an eligibility dispute over teenager Pierce Worrall-Hill, dating back to the 2018/19 season and a move from youth team Bertie Peacocks.  At the time, they were hit with a nine-point deduction, which cost them the Coleraine and District league title.

Kilrea United initially flagged up the Worrall-Hill's need for international clearance, Shiels explains, but league informed them they would register the player. 

It's understood, the registration - which Kilrea took in full faith - was overlooked.  The club took their case to the Irish FA, but it the decision to dock the points was upheld.

They were then hit with the unexpected fine from FIFA.

"On 18 May 2020 the FIFA Disciplinary Committee passed a decision regarding the registration of an international minor player without the relevant International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and the prior approval of the Sub-Committee appointed by the Players’ Status Committee - failure to comply with articles 5 par.1, 9 par. 1, 19 and Annexes 3 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players," read a statement from FIFA, issued to the County Derry Post.

The statement continued: "The FIFA Disciplinary Committee found Kilrea United Football Club responsible for the infringement of the relevant provisions, and sanctioned the team with a fine to the amount of CHF 10,000 and a warning. The team has 30 days, as from the date of the notification, to pay the fine.  The decision was notified on 20 May 2020."

Kilrea United, have also contacted FIFA on the matter, but Shiels confirmed the club have yet to issue them with a response. The Irish FA have told the club it is an issue directly with FIFA.

"We are just in shock and can't believe it," Shiels commented.  "We are in limbo and pondering our options."

A crowdfunding page has been suggested as a solution to save the club, who have been in existence since 1986.  They are sponsored by local businesses, including jersey sponsor Donaghy Brothers

The committee is comprised of amateurs, who run fundraisers such as 'Last Man Standing' to help with funds.  Before a ball is kicked for a Saturday home game, they have to come up with 'approximately £104' to pay for the washing of kit, referee and other expenses.

The club are set to meet on Wednesday night to discuss the matter, that will put their existence in doubt. 

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