Galway United replace Cabinteely in play-offs after Wexford win arbitration decision

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James Cox
Tuesday’s exciting First Division climax has gone into extra-time after an arbitration decision saw Galway United replace Cabinteely in this weekend’s play-offs.

Wexford were vindicated in challenging a decision by the FAI appeals committee that they had fielded an ineligible player.

The four matches that Ola Adeyemo participated in, including a scoreless draw against Cabinteely in August, were declared 3-0 defeats as punishment in the verdict of two weeks ago.

Wexford, admitting they were “astounded” by the ruling, promptly lodged an appeal through the potentially expensive arbitration route. The hearing took place on Wednesday morning with a determination just delivered.

The fall-out of Cabinteely losing two points is the John Caulfield-managed Galway leapfrogging them into the final play-off spot. The Tribesmen will now travel to the Carlisle Grounds on Saturday to face Bray Wanderers in the play-off semi-final. Cobh Ramblers move up to sixth, with Cabinteely dropping to seventh.

Galway only edged Cobh for the play-off berth through to a late equaliser by captain Shane Duggan in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against UCD. Caulfield lifted United from second-bottom into the play-offs in just over two months as manager.

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The winner of Saturday’s play-off will meet the victor from the other semi-final between UCD and Longford Town. Whoever prevails in that final will face off against the side finishing second from bottom in the Premier Division for a place in the 2021 top-flight.

Wexford’s statement two weeks ago read: “Wexford FC is astounded at the decision of the Appeals Committee to find against the club in this case.

“This process is going on for six weeks now during which we have been through an internal FAI investigation, a FIFA investigation, and a Disciplinary Hearing all of which found unequivocally that Wexford FC acted in good faith and properly at all times, and that no sanction was appropriate.

“A valid transfer certificate was issued by the English FA in July and the player's registration to the club confirmed by the FAI.

“At the end of August, we were advised by the FA that they had made an error in issuing the certificate and wished to cancel the transfer.

“The player was immediately stood down but had played four games by that stage.

“All reasonable procedures had been followed by the club, a fact borne out by the FAI, FIFA, and the disciplinary hearing.”

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