Queen's Park face Scottish Cup expulsion over 'ineligible player'

Euan Henderson played against Inverness after the original date for the fourth round tie.

Queen’s Park face Scottish Cup expulsion over ineligible player SNS Group

Queen’s Park face possible expulsion from the Scottish Cup after appearing to field an ineligible player in their fourth round tie.

The Spiders were 2-0 winners in their re-arranged match at Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Tuesday night, with goals from Dom Thomas and Scott Williamson appearing to have secured a place in the fifth round and a match away to Livingston.

However, 22-year-old Hearts loanee Euan Henderson started for Queen’s Park in the game and that looks to have put the ambitious club in breach of the competition rules.

Henderson signed for Queen’s Park five days ago and made his debut against Dundee in the Championship at the weekend.

Scottish Cup rules say that players are only eligible to be played if they are registered before the original date of the game, and the tie against Inverness was originally scheduled for January 21.

The Scottish FA have now issued the club with a Notice of Complaint and an independent panel will consider the charge on Friday.

The penalties for breaking the rule include expulsion from the competition. There is a precedent for being kicked out of the competition, with Brechin City being kicked out for fielding ineligible players in 2008.

Scottish Cup rule 12.5 reads: “When a match which is postponed, drawn, or abandoned is played or replayed, only those players who were eligible, by means of their registration, to be listed on the official team line for a club at the date fixed for originally playing the match, are eligible to be listed on the official team line for that club for the rescheduled match, together with any recognised goalkeeper who is registered with such club at the date of the rescheduled match pursuant to an emergency temporary transfer which has been approved by the board under competition Rule 12.7 or otherwise approved by the relevant regulatory body, notwithstanding that such recognised goalkeeper was not eligible, by means of his registration, to be listed on the official team line for the relevant club at the date fixed for originally playing the match.”

The Scottish FA’s Judicial Panel Protocol lays out the sanctions available and Rule 303 deals with “Eligibility – clubs shall observe the terms of Competition Rule 12”. The punishment at the low end of the guidelines reads: “Mandatory ejection from the Scottish Cup/Women’s Scottish Cup and/or loss of payment for the round and/or exclusion from the Scottish Cup/Women’s Scottish Cup”.

Queen’s Park issued a statement on Wednesday morning that read: “Queen’s Park Football Club would advise that they are in discussions with the Scottish Football Association regarding the eligibility of a player in last night’s Scottish Cup tie at Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

“An internal review to establish the facts will be carried out and the club will be making no further comment until this is done.”