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FA spokesman Adrian Bevington
On the Tranmere and Sunderland controversy
 real 28k

The former FA chief executive Graham Kelly
"They knew quite clearly a player had to come off"
 real 28k

Sunday, 9 January, 2000, 14:06 GMT
Tranmere sweat on FA verdict

Reid Sunderland boss Peter Reid was furious with the substitution


Tranmere Rovers are waiting to find out if the Football Association rule they have to replay their controversial FA Cup tie with Sunderland.

The Wearsiders declined to lodge a complaint about the game, which Rovers won despite substituting a sent-off player in the closing stages.

But the FA's Challenge Cup Committee are reviewing Saturday's match anyway - and could order it to be played again.

The farcical situation arose in stoppage time at Prenton Park when First Division Tranmere fielded 11 players instead of 10 after a substitution mix-up.

The Merseysiders had defender Clint Hill sent off for a second bookable offence - but no other player was taken off when the substitution of Stephen Frail was made.


Allison Wayne Allison's goal booked Tranmere's passage to the next round
None of the four officials present, noticed the error until 20 seconds after the game had resumed.

"We need to speak to a number of people including representatives of Sunderland and Tranmere and the match officials," said FA spokesman Adrian Bevington.

In an earlier FA Cup qualifying round, non-league Farnham used four substitutes in their win over Herne Bay - a replay was subsequently ordered.

This season's Worthington Cup quarter-final between West Ham and Aston Villa has also been shrouded with controversy.

West Ham fielded ineligible player Manny Omoyinmi in the final few minutes of the match, which the Hammers won on penalties.

Harry Redknapp's side were ordered to replay the match after Villa complained to the FA - the tie will be played on Tuesday January 11.

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See also:
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08 Jan 00 |  FA Carling Premiership
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08 Jan 00 |  FA Cup
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Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.