SOUTH Wagga have been sensationally stripped of their three points for their 4-1 win over Tumut last Sunday week.
Football Wagga informed the club of their decision on Tuesday, disqualifying South Wagga from that fixture and awarding a regulation 3-0 win to Tumut.
The decision comes after it was found that South Wagga played a small number of players who weren't on the team sheet. The Warriors owned up to the mistake immediately, citing an administrative error with the new online system, Dribl.
While South Wagga pleaded for common sense to be used in the review, Football Wagga operations manager Dave Merlino said the penalty was 'fairly straight forward'.
"We did have to make sure we investigated the situation. There was no errors as reported by Dribl on the day," Merlino said.
"The only concern is if that person got injured, they're not insured. That, I suppose, is the biggest reasoning for that particular rule. It's more of a safety measure for a player if they get injured.
"We've had the same scenario on the paper form previously because once the referee takes the booklet, back then, they take it away and clubs can't modify that team sheet, which is the same thing which is happening with Dribl. Whatever the time is for kick-off, then no one, not even the referee, can edit the team sheet.
"Unfortunately in South Wagga's case, it has been a disqualification based on that rule."
South Wagga coach Andy Heller believes the penalty does not fit the crime.
"If you're fielding an ineligible player, yeah I shouldn't be able to do that and we should be docked the points but if you're fielding a player that's played every minute of every game in Pascoe Cup, a bit of common sense would say, just make sure you check it next time," Heller said.
"Even a fine. Is it that important? I don't think the biggest problem in Pascoe Cup at the moment is teamsheets.
"It's one of those cases where the rule is the rule, cool, but does it need to be that harsh? Taking points off a club is quite a big thing to do."
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The other issue South Wagga has with the penalty is consistency.
They believe other clubs have escaped unpunished for the same mistake earlier in the season.
"At the end of the day, my comment to (Football Wagga) was just make it fair and equitable for all," he said.
"This isn't the only time this season that we've been given a different rule or a different process to follow than other clubs.
"I'm not really even arguing the point, if the rule is we shouldn't get the points for an incorrect teamsheet, which had it been on paper form would have just been fixed at the time, or in other clubs' instances, was able to be fixed over 24 hours after. Just keep it consistent.
"It's not like we're bringing in ring-ins every week. It's disappointing."
Merlino explained that the previous issues surrounding team sheets earlier in the year were proven to be made at Dribl's end.
"The issue with that was, it was a few weekends ago, nearly every team raised an issue with (Dribl)," Merlino said.
"It affected quite a significant amount of teams, where a team would have selected the appropriate player as playing, in their view they've done it correctly, submitted and confirmed, but apparently there was an issue back then and Dribl fully confirmed this, they were doing an update. But the minute they reverted back, because it did show some clubs as not playing, once they reverted back, it reverted the initial settings and it proved what the clubs entered was actually accurate in that particular case.
"In this particular case, yes we had to contact Dribl in relation to that, there was no updates, no issues, no outages during that weekend whatsoever, there was also no other issues reported by any other teams or clubs through the course of that weekend."
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