Town disqualified for ineligable player
Shrewsbury Town’s Under-18s have been disqualified from the FA Youth Cup after fielding an ineligible player in their first round tie against Evesham United.
Town won the game 3-0 and were set to take on local rivals Crewe Alexandra in the next round on Tuesday 14th November, but will now not take part in that game.
CEO Brian Caldwell had been part of a hearing this morning and explained the decision.
“Basically, we played a player in the FA Youth Cup match last week against Evesham who was slightly over age”, Brian explained.
“The reasoning behind that was that the player’s a third-year scholar and we have special dispensation for him to be a third-year scholar. He plays in the EFL Youth Alliance for our U18 team and therefore our Academy checked with the FA the day before the game to check whether he would also be eligible to play in the FA Youth Cup.
“We explained that he was a third year scholar, we explained that he was a little bit over age and the advice we were given from the Competitions Department of the FA was that if he’s eligible for the EFL Youth Alliance then he’s eligible for the FA Youth Cup.
“Having got that clarification, the player played in the three-nil victory and since then we’ve had a charge. We put evidence together expecting common sense to prevail and a bit of honesty and integrity from the FA, which obviously hasn’t happened.
“The story seemed to change from people in the FA as to actually what happened. We all know what happened and we explained in a hearing this morning that we did the right thing, that we went to the FA Competitions Department and we asked the right person as well to clarify if the player was eligible.
“I can’t really fault the youth guys because they’ve done the right thing. They’ve gone and asked the question to check if he is eligible, they were give the go-ahead, they played the player and now we’ve been punished.
“We’ve now got 20-odd Under-18 players who are out of the competition through no fault of their own and in my opinion through no fault of ours either. We have been given the wrong information from the Competitions Department of the FA, who have now hidden behind their own rules and said that they didn’t say this.”