Phoenix Sports have been removed from this season’s FA Cup for fielding a banned player, but the club says it has decided not to appeal.

Photo: Phoenix Sports

The Bostik League South East Division side played a suspended player in the FA Cup first qualifying round replay against Lancing FC, which was subsequently investigated by the FA. Yesterday, the club were informed that they would be fined and removed from the competition.

However, the club have opted not to appeal against this outcome, and they have detailed why in this statement:

‘On Wednesday 26th September the FA concluded their investigation into us fielding a banned player in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round Replay against Lancing FC.

As a result of that we were given the devastating news that we have been fined and removed from the competition, with Lancing taking our place in the next round.

We do have the right to appeal the decision but have decided not to go ahead with that option.

For the FA investigation we held our hands up to the error and gave the honest reasons for how it occurred. We feel that if we did appeal, the decision would not be changed and would only cause disruption to the planning of the Hendon v Lancing match next week. Neither of those teams deserve that.

Going forward we hope that those in power find ways to reduce the pressure placed upon the fabulous volunteer workforce that are at every club at this level. Without them there wouldn’t be clubs like ours and we certainly appreciate the amazing work that they do.

Once again, the best of luck to Lancing, Hendon and all the clubs that remain in the competition, we will take this one on the chin and come back fighting next year when we again compete in the greatest cup competition in world football.

The Committee, Phoenix Sports

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