County Derry football clubs fined for fielding ineligible players

Two County Derry football clubs have been sanctioned for fielding ineligible players.

Tobermore United and Moyola Park FC have had a number of results annulled and fined after a Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) investigation found the two clubs had fielded players not recorded.

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

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

As a result, they had three knocked down victories; a 2-1 win over Dollingstown, a 1-0 home win over Banbridge Town and a 3-1 win over PSNI.

All results will come down to 3-0 defeats and the club have also been fined £500.

Tobermore United have only fielded one ineligible player – Stephen Mills.

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

The club then 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 £325 fine was also imposed on the club.

This is not the first time the NIFL has had to intervene this year with unregistered players. Chief Executive Gerard Lawlor expressed the organization’s “frustration” with the issue.

“As footballers, it is frustrating and disappointing that the league has had to take this step several times this season,” he said.

“This is a matter of concern for us, but we will now work proactively to develop a competition rules and player registration education program for our member clubs this summer ahead of the next registration window. to avoid similar problems in the future.”

A full NIFL statement is available here.

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