Barnsley expelled from FA Cup after fielding ineligible player in Horsham replay

Barnsley have been expelled from the FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player in their first-round replay against Horsham.

Seventh-tier Horsham will now progress to round two, where they will visit League Two strugglers Sutton.

The Tykes were 3-0 winners in last Tuesday’s replay, after the first game had finished 3-3 at Oakwell, but have since acknowledged a “regrettable”, “unintentional” error that has seen them kicked out of this season’s competition by the Football Association.

A club statement read: “Today the FA has advised us that we will no longer be able to participate in the FA Cup this season.

“An administrative error was brought to our attention regarding the eligibility of a player who played in last Tuesday’s game with Horsham FC.

“The club has fully co-operated with the investigation and has accepted the FA’s decision. We have been in contact with Horsham FC and would like to thank the club and chairman for their understanding and co-operation throughout this process.

“We would like to apologise to our fans, players and staff for this regrettable error.

“This mistake – although unintentional – falls way below the high standards we set at this club and is simply not what you deserve.

“We have already conducted a full internal investigation and have subsequently put safeguards in place to ensure this will never happen again.”

The FA said Barnsley fielded a player in the replay who was not eligible for the first match, which is against the rules.

Forward Aiden Marsh was on loan at National League York when the first game took place on November 3, before being recalled by parent club Barnsley on November 6 and playing 71 minutes of the replay on November 14.

“A Professional Game Board sub-committee has removed Barnsley from the 2023-24 Emirates FA Cup for fielding an ineligible player during their first-round proper replay against Horsham on Tuesday 14 November 2023,” an FA statement read.

“The FA alleged that the player was ineligible for this replay, as he was not correctly registered and eligible for the original first-round-proper match on Friday 3 November 2023, which constitutes a breach of FA Cup rule 103.

“Barnsley admitted this charge and acknowledged that the breach had occurred. The sub-committee’s members ordered that Barnsley be removed from the competition, and that Horsham be awarded the tie and progression to the second round proper.

“Subject to any appeal by Barnsley, Horsham will now play away to Sutton United in the Second Round Proper on Saturday 2 December 2023.”


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