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Bryan Keane/INPHO The Bit O' Red won the fixture on the field 2-0, but were found to have fielded a suspended player.
# Verdicts
Sligo forced to forfeit win over Dundalk, while August's Shels-Pats fixture to be rescheduled
Rovers fielded a suspended player against the Lilywhites, who have been awarded a 3-0 victory which moves them up to second.

TITLE-CHASING DUNDALK have been awarded a 3-0 win over Sligo Rovers for their 29 August League of Ireland Premier Division fixture after the Bit O’ Red started midfielder Adam McDonnell in a game for which he was suspended, an FAI independent disciplinary committee has determined.

Rovers, who on the field won the game 2-0 at the Showgrounds, say they are “disappointed with the outcome” and maintain that, while they “understand and admit that an error was made on the club’s behalf”, the error in question was caused in part by the omission of McDonnell’s name from two weekly suspension lists issued by the FAI.

Sligo Rovers say the club will move on from the matter but while also taking further legal advice on the overturning of August’s on-field result.

It is a twist which has significant ramifications not only for the westerners’ efforts to reach Europe next season, but for the Premier Division title race: with their awarded 3-0 victory, Dundalk leapfrog Derry City into second and now trail leaders Shamrock Rovers by only three points — albeit the champions have two games in hand over the Lilywhites.

In response to an FAI release in which the association confirmed that Sligo had “fielded an ineligible player” and would “forfeit the game by a scoreline of 0-3″, a Rovers statement read:

“Sligo Rovers are disappointed with the outcome of the FAI Disciplinary Control Unit hearing which results in an overturning of the recent win against Dundalk at The Showgrounds.

“While we understand and admit that an error was made on the club’s behalf, the issue was contributed to by the omission of the player’s name from two weekly suspension lists issued by the FAI to all clubs, which led to confusion.

“As a club, we will move on from this while considering our options.

“The club will take further legal advice on the outcome.”

adam-oreilly-and-sean-boyd Ryan Byrne / INPHO Adam O'Reilly of Pats and Sean Boyd of Shels in action in May. Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Meanwhile, the FAI have also confirmed that Shelbourne’s home league fixture with St Patrick’s Athletic, which was postponed last month on two days’ notice when the Saints became stranded in Bulgaria while on Europa Conference League duty, will be refixed for a later date.

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“An independent disciplinary committee of the Football Association of Ireland has determined that the SSE Airtricity Premier Division fixture between Shelbourne FC and St Patrick’s Athletic FC, that was scheduled to be played on Sunday, 7 August 2022, is to be rescheduled and will be played on a date to be arranged by the League of Ireland,” the FAI’s full statement read.

Damien Duff and Shels were left incensed when Pats were unable to fulfil the fixture, which had already been pushed from Friday 5 August to Sunday 7 August in order to accommodate the Inchicore club’s Europa Conference League third-round qualifier first leg with CSKA Sofia in the Bulgarian capital.

Following their heroic 1-0 win on Thursday 4 August, Saints confirmed that they and the club’s travel broker had fallen foul of the chaos that had befallen the aviation industry and that they were unable to source a charter flight back to Ireland until the morning of their away meeting with Shels on Sunday 7 August.

Uefa regulations dictate that the use of charter flights is mandatory for clubs competing in the third qualifying round of Uefa competitions onwards, leaving Tim Clancy’s men stuck in Sofia until a private flight home became available.

The FAI consequently postponed the league fixture between Shels and the FAI Cup champions, and it will now be rescheduled for a date which has yet to be confirmed.

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