FINN Harps have been left to foot a five-figure legal bill after Waterford FC challenges the result of the final game of the Premier Division season.
An appeal by Waterford FC against the eligibility of Harps defender Shane McEleney was ruled out of order.
McEleney was due to serve a suspension for the accumulation of yellow cards.
Games were put forward at late notice to the Monday and the FAI pushed the commencement date of suspensions to the Tuesday.
Harps sough clarity on the matter before playing McEleney in a game they won 1-0 thanks to Adam Foley’s first-half goal. The win secured Harps’ Premier Division status.
In a brief statement the FAI said: “The appeals committee of the Football Association of Ireland has ruled an appeal by Waterford FC against the disciplinary control unit of the FAI and Finn Harps out of order as per the FAI Rulebook.
“All parties to the appeal have been notified of this decision.”
A hearing on the matter was held last week and Harps were represented as responders in the case.
Although the Donegal club was not an accused, hey were made a responder to the appeal.
It is understood that Harps were represented at the hearing by a club director and a barrister.
Legal advice and representation has cost Harps in excess of €10,000 – a spend has greatly irked Harps, who have been left livid by the whole saga.
Waterford have the option of challenging the decision further with arbitration a possibility, although the south-east club have not commented publicly on the matter.
The FAI had explained last month’s decision on the suspensions when a spokesperson said: “The Disciplinary Committee of the FAI applied an ‘effective from’ date of Tuesday November 10 for suspensions to be imposed after the final series of Premier Division games in the SSE Airtricity League.
“This decision was taken in order to maintain the status quo in respect of the extraordinary circumstances caused by COVID-19 which resulted in the final round of Premier Division fixtures being rescheduled, as permitted by FAI rules.”Tags: