NIFL meeting to discuss Ports points

Portadown manager Pat McGibbon. Pic by Pacemaker.

Portadown manager Pat McGibbon. Pic by Pacemaker.

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Northern Ireland Football League officials will meet today (Thursday) to discuss the points situation connected to Portadown’s cancelled fixture against Coleraine.

A ruling by the Irish Football Association disciplinary committee last night (Wednesday) voted to uphold the “suspension of football activities” imposed on the Ports for “non-payment of disciplinary fines”.

As a result, NIFL have confirmed a Premiership Management Committee meeting to “consider the implications of this matter”, in particular, any decision to award Coleraine victory and three points.

The suspension covers all aspects of football related to Portadown until after Monday - including the scheduled IFA appeal tonight connected to the 12-point deduction imposed due to Peter McMahon’s contract status, plus the reserves’ scheduled opening league game on Saturday.

The IFA statement from Wednesday’s hearing confirmed that “taking into account Article 9.3 of the Irish FA’s Disciplinary Code as well as being cognisant of Portadown’s Premiership game against Coleraine scheduled for this Saturday, they were not persuaded to exercise discretion in this case”.

Portadown presented evidence at the IFA hearing of a written agreement to stagger payment of fines to one £3,000 sum “before the start of the season” then subsequent £1,000 lodgements in September and October.

An emergency meeting of Portadown’s Board of Directors was scheduled to take place today to discuss the hearing decision and “future of Portadown Football Club”, according to the Shamrock Park side’s official website.

As the full £5,000 fine was cleared on Wednesday before the hearing, it is understood that Portadown’s suspension will end on Monday.

The Ports can then kick off the Danske Bank Premiership season next Wednesday at 7.45 against Ballinamallard United at Shamrock Park.