Rangers win their FA Cup appeal

  • Rangers coach Jomar Wilkinson

St David’s and Southampton Rangers will lock horns again in the FA Cup after the latter won their appeal against the Bermuda Football Association’s decision to kick them out of the competition for using an ineligible player.

The two First Division sides will have to do it all over again in a replay at the National Stadium North Field tomorrow, starting at 7pm.

Rangers beat St David’s 4-2 in the initial cup tie at Lord’s on January 20 but were forced to forfeit the match after it emerged second-half substitute Najiyah Raynor was not listed on their teamsheet.

Raynor and Jomar Wilkinson, the Southampton coach, both received one-game suspensions while the club was also handed a $150 fine.

The club appealed against the BFA competition committee’s ruling, which was upheld by the association’s appeals committee upon further scrutiny.

“Southampton Rangers took up their option of due process and they appealed the decision of the competitions committee,” Shannon Burgess, the BFA competition committee chairman, told The Royal Gazette.

“The competitions committee has reviewed the regulations and have determined that the sanctions that were listed in the regulations were to be applied in full. The sanction was forfeit of the match, a fine and suspension of the coach and player for one match.

“The appeals committee have written a ruling to determine that in their interpretation the committee had the ability to use their discretion in the sanctions that were written and in their opinion the forfeiture of the match was harsh and they have overturned that particular sanction.

“The appeals committee has determined that they will uphold the suspension of the player and coach, which they’ve already served, and uphold the fine but they have overturned the decision for Rangers to forfeit the match.”

Commenting on the ruling, Greg Steede, the assistant sports chairman at Southampton Rangers, said: “It’s a blessing and everybody is happy and ready to go.”

Darius Cox, the Rangers defender, added: “We set out a goal to see if we can win every match we play as hard as we can and being kicked out of the FA Cup was a big blow to us. Everybody was pretty upset.”

St David’s declined to comment.

The winner of tomorrow’s replay will meet Premier Division side BAA in the FA Cup quarter finals at Goose Gosling Field on February 18 (8pm).

“I’m hoping we can conquer them and get to the next phase of the FA Cup because it’s something I want for my boyhood club and the fans,” Cox added.

The BFA held the FA Cup quarter-final draw yesterday shortly after meeting with representatives from St David’s and Southampton Rangers.

The most intriguing match-up of the draw will see holders Robin Hood face PHC Zebras at Goose Gosling Field on Saturday, beginning at 8pm.

“We always get PHC in some type of form or fashion throughout the tournaments,” Alex Belvedere, the Robin Hood vice-president, said.

“We both know each other well and anytime we play PHC it’s never an easy game and we will play them just as we would any other time.”

Michael Trott, the PHC president, also took matters in stride.

“Whoever they put in front of us, that’s who we play and we just go from there,” he said.

Somerset Trojans will host Dandy Town at Somerset Cricket Club while X -Roads will entertain St George’s Colts at Garrison Field in the remaining FA Cup quarter-final matches to be played on Sunday.