North Ferriby removed from FA Vase for fielding ineligible player

Northern Counties East League club North Ferriby have been removed from this season’s FA Vase after they were found to have fielded an ineligible player in Saturday’s fourth round tie against West Auckland Town.

West Auckland have been reinstated into the fifth round and they will travel to North West Counties League side Warrington Rylands on Saturday.

An FA Spokesperson said: “An FA National Game Competitions Sub-Committee has ordered that North Ferriby FC be removed from the 2020/21 FA Vase after fielding a suspended player during their fixture against West Auckland Town FC in the Fourth Round Proper on Saturday 17 April 2021.

“North Ferriby FC has chosen not to appeal this decision, so West Auckland Town FC will progress to the Fifth Round Proper instead and is scheduled to play against Warrington Rylands FC on Saturday 24 April 2021.”

In a statement released via social media, North Ferriby confirmed that the Football Association have removed them from the Vase after they determined Niall Tilsley was ineligible to feature against West after receiving two yellow cards earlier in the competition.

Tilsley was booked in both the original and replayed fixtures against West’s Northern League rivals Seaham Red Star and was deemed to be ineligible for Saturday’s fixture.

However, in a mitigation letter written on behalf of the club by East Riding FA chief executive Adam Lowthorpe, an error in the the FA’s ‘Whole Game System’ has been identified as the reason behind Tilsley’s appearance.

It read: “North Ferriby made a detailed effort to clarify the eligibility of their players prior to the fixture in an open and transparent fashion and following these discussions established their player was eligible to play.

“They should not be punished due to human error within a dated process for handling discipline in comparison to other levels of the game.

“At the point of the fixture, there were no outstanding suspensions on (the) Whole Game System and the club had specifically asked The Football Association to clarify the eligibility of its players.”

North Ferriby chairman Les Hare commented via the club’s social media, saying: “There is little more I can add at this time, other than, I’m heartbroken for every Villager, but none more so than our incredible management and players.”

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