Reading City removed from FA Youth Cup

FA Youth Cup.
FA Youth Cup.

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Reading City’s under 18 side have been removed from the 2022/23 FA Youth Cup after fielding an ineligible player in an earlier round of the competition.

The Cityzens – who reached the Second Round Proper last season – were due to play Ardley United in the Second Qualifying Round but were removed last week after being found guilty of fielding an ineligible player against Cove. Ardley will instead face Wokingham & Emmbrook who Reading beat in the previous round.

The team’s manager Michael Butcher said: “We accept the charge, we played a player who played in a previous round of the competition but we did so with absolutely no knowledge that he was ineligible. We would never play players with the intention of cheating or trying to fraud the system or anything like that and I don’t know what I could have done that differently to prevent this situation from happening.

“In the eyes of the law we’ve broken a rule and now paid the ultimate price. We’re devastated for the second years because some of those boys will now never get to play in the FA Youth Cup again. As coaches, we’ll get to coach in it again and as a club, we’ll play in it again but those boys miss out on that opportunity and sometimes I just feel like when these decisions are made those players and other people it affects aren’t fully considered, but that’s the life, that’s football and we’ll move on. There are plenty of games to come and we’ll be in the FA Youth Cup again in the future.”

A spokesperson for the FA said in a statement released to Football in Berkshire: “Reading City FC has been removed from The FA Youth Cup after admitting a breach of the competition’s Rule 15 that took place during a tie against Cove in the Preliminary Round on Friday 2 September 2022. Reading City FC fielded an ineligible player in this tie, so an FA Youth Participation Sub-Committee subsequently ordered that they be removed from the competition and fined £100. 

“Reading City FC’s latest opponents in the competition were Wokingham & Emmbrook FC, so they have been reinstated by the committee. Wokingham & Emmbrook FC will now play at home to Ardley United FC in the Second Round Qualifying, with this match to be played during the week commencing Monday 3 October 2022.”

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