Godmanchester Rovers have been disqualified from the FA Vase cup competition after the fielding a suspended player. Club captain Chris Hyem was under suspension for receiving two yellow cards in his previous two cup games. He played and scored in the 1-0 home victory against Sporting Khsala in the fourth round tie on 5th January 2019.
The club received the notification of a misconduct charge from the FA on 15th January 2019. This lead to a hearing which took place at Wembley on Thursday 24th January. Godmanchester representatives were told that due to this misconduct, the team were disqualified from the competition. Sporting Khsala are to be reinstated into the competition in the fifth round tie against Sholing FC.
At the beginning of the 2018/19 season, the FA Vase competition made a rule change regarding how players can be suspended and how many yellow or red cards a player can accumulate before suspension. Godmanchester Rovers Football Club Chairman, Keith Gabb, claims that the club “were never made aware of the rule change and we would never have played Chris Hyem in the fourth round. We feel as though it is not a fault of ours, but of the FA.”.
A club statement was released by Godmanchester Rovers on Twitter following the clubs disappointing news: “The club are, of course, deeply disappointed at the decision. It will consider an appeal when the written decision has been received”.
Godmanchester Rovers social media manager, Alfie Toseland, has reacted to the clubs disqualification by saying “no one knew about the rule change and no one informed us about it, so what could we have done. At the end of the day, if we as a club were not informed about the rule change then how were we supposed to tell Chris that he was ineligible to play in the game”?