FELIXSTOWE & Walton United have been “humbled” by the support shown to the club since being thrown out of the John Banks Suffolk Premier Cup.

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The decision of a partially independent commission last Friday saw the Seasiders expelled from the competition and Ipswich Town – who the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side had defeated 2-1 in the quarter-finals – reinstated.

Felixstowe were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player – substitute Tom Deller – who had accrued five bookings and was therefore suspended at the time of the match on January 8.

However, Felixstowe’s case was based around confusion over the date of Deller’s fifth caution.

It is not the first time a club has made such an expensive mistake – Woodbridge Town were expelled from the FA Vase in 2009.

Some clubs believe that the onus should still be on Suffolk FA, with full-time staff and access to computer records, to inform them of when suspensions take effect.

Jairo Marin, football services manager at Suffolk FA, said that while people were entitled to their opinion, the change was as a result of demand from players, clubs and leagues across the country.

He said: “Following consultation with leagues and clubs up and down the country and subsequent demand, the Football Association changed the regulations about six years ago and this has gradually cascaded down to grassroots football with the introduction of match-based discipline introduced to youth football from the beginning of the current season.

“Suffolk FA still notify clubs, following receipt of referee reports. However, one of the main factors that clubs were notified of is that a player that is sent off from the field of play, will be suspended 21 days from the date of the offence. “Where a player receives five cautions from the start of the season and before 31st December, they will need to serve a one-match suspension 21 days from the date of receiving the fifth caution.”

He said the reason Felixstowe were not asked to pay the costs of the hearing was because the club had to pay for their appeal and the commission decided that as the fee would be forfeited, no order would be made as to costs.

A statement issued by the Seasiders this week said: “The club, while hugely disappointed with the decision taken by Suffolk County FA to expel Felixstowe & Walton United FC from the Suffolk Premier Cup, conclude there is nothing to be gained by continuing to discuss or dispute it.

“The Suffolk FA appeal was on the basis that the club would accept the decision of the hearing, whatever that may be.

“The club therefore accept that decision and now wish to move on and would like to thank all those who have shown their support for the club over the last five days, it has been humbling to receive such support from so many people.

“The club wish Ipswich Town success in the semi-final.”

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