Glenavon's Oval win confirmed by Irish FA Appeals Board

Glenavon player-manager Gary Hamilton grabs two goals as the Lurgan Blues recover from an early two-goal deficit to beat Glentoran 4-2.

Glenavon's 4-2 Premiership win over Glentoran last month has been confirmed by an Irish FA Appeals Board even though it concluded that Gary Hamilton should not have played in the game.

The controversy arose after Glenavon player-boss Hamilton played and scored twice at the Oval despite being ordered from the dugout a week earlier.

Before the Oval game, the IFA told Glenavon that Hamilton could play.

The IFA appeals board has ruled that Glenavon were told this in good faith.

As a result of this, the appeals board has decided that Glenavon should not lose the points from the 8 November fixture although Hamilton will have to serve a two-match suspension arising from his dismissal from the dugout against Linfield a week earlier.

Despite Tuesday's verdict, Glentoran have said that they will launch a further appeal to the Northern Ireland Football League.

Hamilton's suspension will start from 15 December.

"I am disappointed to get an extra match ban - but the IFA has ruled and I accept the decision," said the Glenavon player-manager.

Before the Oval game, the Irish Football Association's disciplinary body told Glenavon that Hamilton had been sent off as a manager and not as a player.

The appeals board has now ruled that this was incorrect but because Glenavon were told the information "in good faith", that the original result will stand.

"The board considers that, given the lack of clarity on the issue of player/manager suspensions, it was reasonable for Glenavon to request clarification," said Tuesday's appeals board judgement.

"It was also reasonable for the disciplinary committee to provide a response. Once the response was received, Glenavon, in good faith, relied upon it.

"For this reason it would not be fair or just to punish Glenavon for relying upon advice given in good faith by the disciplinary committee.

"Glentoran submitted to us that, as according to Fifa article 18, Hamilton was ineligible when he played against them that the only proper result, according to the IFA Code in accordance with the Fifa Code, was to award Glentoran with a 3-0 match win and fine Glenavon accordingly.

"Glentoran reminded us that eligibility is a strict liability offence and the responsibility lies with the club.

"While there is some merit in the Glentoran submission, and it is entirely understandable that Glentoran should suggest it, the board is not convinced that the overriding objective of fairness and natural justice would be satisfied with this result."

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