David Elebert ineligibility ruling upheld by IFA Disciplinary Committee

Glenavon signed former Derry City defender David Elebert in January 2015
Glenavon signed former Derry City defender David Elebert in January 2015

The Irish FA Disciplinary Committee has upheld a decision that Glenavon's David Elebert was ineligible for the club's Boxing Day derby against Portadown.

The club was fined £350 and ordered to forfeit the match by a 3-0 scoreline.

Elebert was banned for one game from 19 December and Glenavon thought that was served by sitting out a reserve match.

The committee considered an appeal against the sanction but ruled that ultimate responsibility for ensuring player eligibility lies with the club.

Glenavon challenge

The committee heard a challenge submitted by Glenavon, with both written and verbal submissions from the club and Association considered, in relation to a breach of Article 22.1 of the Irish FA Disciplinary Code, but this proved unsuccessful.

Glenavon FC have a right of appeal under Article 14 of the Irish FA's Articles of Association.

Elebert's suspension was imposed for accumulating five bookings, with three during reserve games.

The Mourneview Park club said the IFA cleared Elebert to play in the mid-Ulster derby on 26 December, which ended 2-2, but IFA rules state that bans apply to the "more senior team".

Elebert's fifth yellow card, which triggered the suspension, was picked up in a reserve fixture.

More senior team

However, Rule 15.4 of the IFA Disciplinary Code states: "A player who receives cautions for more than 1 team within his club will have his cautions amalgamated and must serve any suspension......with the more senior team."

Glenavon added that they queried Elebert's eligibility with the Irish FA and he was only selected following its advice.

Portadown were themselves punished for fielding an eligible player against Ards earlier this season.

Robert Garrett scored in a 3-1 win but the midfielder was suspended for the game and the Ports forfeited the points while Ards were awarded a 3-0 victory.