IFA Disciplinary Committee to make decision on Portadown suspension

Pat McGibbon succeeded long-serving boss Ronnie McFall as manager of Portadown
Pat McGibbon succeeded long-serving boss Ronnie McFall as manager of Portadown

The Irish FA's Disciplinary Committee is to meet on Wednesday night to decide whether to lift Portadown's suspension from all football activity.

The sanction was imposed after the club had failed to pay disciplinary fees for making undisclosed payments to players.

As it stands, the Ports' scheduled league opener at Coleraine on Saturday is off and they will forfeit the game.

The fine has now been paid and the Committee have the option to exercise their discretion to lift the ban.

Under IFA rules, the suspension should not be lifted until the Monday after the outstanding fees are paid in full.

A statement from the IFA on Tuesday indicated that a Disciplinary Committee had found the Ports to be in breach of Article 9.3 of the body's disciplinary code.

A fine of £5,000 was handed down in April and it is understood that an initial cheque sent to the IFA 'bounced'.

The fine was imposed, along with a transfer embargo preventing the club from signing players on professional terms until June 2017, after irregularities were found in payments made to former striker Gary Twigg.

Portadown's appeal against a 12-point deduction, imposed after the Shamrock Park club were found to have paid Peter McMahon while he was registered as an amateur, is due to be heard by the IFA's Appeals Committee on Thursday night.

However, if the suspension from all football is not set aside, the appeal cannot be heard.

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