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Page last updated at 17:44 GMT, Wednesday, 26 May 2010 18:44 UK

SFA tighten Scottish Cup expulsion rules

The Scottish Cup

Any team fielding an ineligible player will automatically be ejected from the Scottish Cup.

The Scottish Football Association passed the resolution at its annual general meeting at Hampden.

The move came after Dunfermline were expelled from this season's tournament for breaching a number of competition rules, only to be reinstated on appeal.

In January, a three-man independent panel overturned the SFA's decision to throw the Fife team out.

In 2008 Brechin City were expelled from the Scottish Cup for fielding two ineligible players.

"We've brought in a rule that, if someone plays an illegal player or someone who shouldn't be playing, then they are automatically dismissed from the competition," said SFA president George Peat.

"That will take the doubt away in future.

"In all the time that I've been at the SFA, we've only twice told clubs they are out.

"We were surprised actually how easily we got this through, we thought we would get a lot of resistance from the clubs.

"There was the doubt over the Dunfermline case. At the end of the day, Dunfermline had broken four of the rules and we felt, at that time, it was not unreasonable to remove them the tournament.

"It went to appeal and the appeal board felt we were a bit harsh. So we have brought in this rule so that there is no dubiety in the future. There are no grey areas at all."

Peat also revealed that talks were ongoing with the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League regarding league reconstruction.

"We have already been discussing a pyramid system and the SFL are now coming around to that way of thinking, because that was the big stumbling block in the past," he explained.

"But they are now seriously thinking of it being possible. We had a meeting during the week and we are pursuing that.

"I can honestly say, without fear of contradiction, that the three bodies are closer now than they have ever been before. We have regular meetings and we are looking forward to the future together.

"We are still discussing it. The Leagues have their own problems and they've got their suggestions to put to their members.

"Once they get that done, we will sit down again and see how fruitful those suggestions are. We are hoping we will go forward together."

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see also
Dunfermline given Cup reprieve
21 Jan 10 |  Dunfermline
Brechin ejected from Scottish Cup
31 Jan 08 |  Scottish Cups

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