30 Sept 2022

County Derry football clubs fined for fielding ineligible players

Both clubs have also had results overturned.

County Derry football clubs fined for fielding ineligible players

Moyola Park have had three results reverted to 3-0 defeats as a result.

Two County Derry football clubs have been hit with punishment for fielding ineligible players.

Tobermore United and Moyola Park FC have had a number of results overturned and have been handed monetary fines after a Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) investigation found both clubs had fielded unregistered players.

Castledawson club Moyola Park were found to have fielded a total of five unregistered players over three games in the NIFL Premier Intermediate League during January and February 2022.

The NIFL investigation found Elliot McKim, Samuel McIlveen, Thomas Robinson, Harry Wylie and Jamie Willighan had 'not been registered in accordance with Rule 32(a) of the NIFL Premier Intermediate League Rules 2021/22.'

As a result, theyhave had three victories overturned; a 2-1 win over Dollingstown, a 1-0 victory at home to Banbridge Town and a 3-1 win over PSNI.

All results will revert to 3-0 defeats and the club have also been handed a fine of £500.

Tobermore United fielded just one ineligible player - Stephen Mills. 

Mills had been registered as an amateur player by Tobermore United on January 7 2022, but the investigation found he had already been registered with and played for two clubs (Churchill United FC and Limavady United) during the current season.

The club have subsequently had two results in February 2022 recorded as 3-0 defeats; a 1-1 draw with Banbridge Town and a 0-0 stalemate with Portstewart.

A fine of £325 has also been issued to the club.

It is not the first time the NIFL has had to take action this year in relation to unregistered players. Chief Executive Gerard Lawlor expressed the organisation's 'frustration' with the issue.

"As football people, it is frustrating and disappointing that the league has had to take this action on a number of occasions this season," he said.

"This is an area of concern for us, but we will now proactively work to develop an education programme on competition and player registration regulations for our member clubs this summer ahead of the next registration window to avoid similar issues in future.”

A full NIFL statement is available here.

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