By Connor Steel
AFC PORTCHESTER have announced they have launched an appeal to the Football Association after being ‘removed’ from the Emirates FA Cup; this update being released on Friday afternoon after the club were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player during their previous Extra Preliminary Round away success against Wells City held back on August 5.
The Royals were meant to travel to Southern League Premier opposition Didcot Town last Saturday (September 2), but this First Qualifying Round match was postponed at short notice with no updates from either club. Since then the draws for the Second Qualifying Round has been made for September 16; the winners due to be hosting Bristol Manor Farm.
No full explanation has been given but it is believed that an unnamed player was shown two yellow cards in the FA Cup last season, which should trigger an one game suspension for the next competition game. By fielding this player versus Wells City the Royals appear to have breached this FA guidance and they have since been replaced by Tadley Calleva.
At this time it seems that Didcot Town will now play Tadley Calleva in their delayed First Qualifying Round encounter on Tuesday night (September 12); the cup tie against Bristol Manor Farm being played by the ‘winners’ next Saturday. But this all remains uncertain as Portchester have exercised their right to appeal this decision and this is due on ‘Tuesday’.
Portchester’s management state that there was “insufficient information” on their Whole Game System; which is a data platform used by all ‘step five’ non-league teams across the country. This indicated no problem with the player featuring in the Wells City and they argue that the FA were contacted as soon as possible for a clarification once the issue arose.
The Royals have outlined they will not be making any further comments on this case until Tuesday with their focus now switching to their Wessex League Premier encounter against Sherborne Town later this afternoon. They are also due to play Bashley away in the cup on Tuesday night with fans urged to follow their social media platforms for fresh updates.
PICTURED BY ALAMY (2DR5GEA): Base of FA Cup trophy engraved with past ‘winners’ including Man Utd & Arsenal.