The winners of a local football knockout competition have been stripped of the trophy.
Punnetts Town have had to hand back the Hastings & District FA Lower Divisions Cup after fielding an ineligible player in the final.
The trophy will instead go to a Bexhill Rovers side which was beaten 3-1 by Punnetts in the final at The Pilot Field, home of Hastings United FC, on Thursday April 14.
It means Rovers are celebrating a league and cup double having finished 12 points clear at the top of Macron East Sussex Football League Division Four with 16 wins from 18 matches.
Hastings & District FA press officer Russell Davis said it’s the first time he can recall a team being stripped of one of the organisation’s trophies.
The possibility of an eligibility issue was initiated when Tony Cosens, of the Hastings & District FA, received an email expressing concern that a Punnetts player may have played at senior level during the same season, which is against competition rules.
On investigating the enquiry, the Hastings & District FA discovered that was the case and thereby stripped Punnetts of the trophy. Punnetts appealed to the Sussex County FA, but the Hastings & District FA’s decision was upheld.
The annual general meeting of the Hastings & District FA will take place at The Pilot Field on Wednesday June 29 from 7.45pm.
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