Coleraine face player eligibility probe

Ruairi Harkin in action for Coleraine against Institute
Ruairi Harkin of Coleraine has picked up five bookings this season

Coleraine say they are seeking clarification on whether they inadvertently fielded a suspended player against Institute last week.

Ruairi Harkin played in a 4-0 league win - but the former Derry City man had been in line for a one-match ban after getting five bookings this season.

Coleraine have argued that the Irish FA did not issue the date from which the suspension was to be effective.

"It was Coleraine who brought attention to his," said chairman Colin McKendry.

"Our secretary discovered Ruairi Harkin's name on a list of suspended players and was concerned about it.

"The onus is now on the clubs to access the league's website to see for themselves when players are suspended.

"We have spoken to the NI Football League and the Irish FA seeking clarification on the matter.

"There was a spreadsheet listing the suspensions, but no effective date.

"Hopefully we can get it sorted and everything will be fine."

Harkin picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the match against Ballinamallard United on 10 October.

However, it has emerged that, even if Coleraine were stripped of the three points, their opponents Institute might not benefit.

That is because they fielded keeper Eugene Ferry who is on loan from Coleraine.

New league regulations do not allow on-loan players to oppose their parents clubs.

Statement on Coleraine's website
"Coleraine Football Club are awaiting clarification from the Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) on several issues which arose following last Saturday's game against Institute."The Club have been proactive about the matters and alerted the NIFL as soon as they came to light."A further statement will be issued in due course."

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