Barnsley Football Club has faced a shocking development as they have been disqualified from the Emirates FA Cup due to the discovery that they included an ineligible player in their first-round replay against Horsham. Initially, Barnsley emerged victorious with a 3-0 win in the replay after a 3-3 draw in the first encounter. However, their triumph has been marred as they have now been deprived of their spot in the second round.
In a statement posted on the Barnsley website, the club conveyed their profound remorse and offered an apology to their supporters, players, and staff for this unfortunate mistake. They made it clear that the mistake was accidental and did not meet the club’s high expectations. Additionally, they confirmed that they have already conducted a comprehensive internal investigation and taken steps to ensure that similar incidents do not happen again in the future.
Although the player who was not eligible has not been revealed, FA Cup Rule 103 states that only a player who was eligible for the initial match can participate in a replay. Barnsley still have the choice to challenge the decision, but the FA’s announcement suggests that the club has accepted the accusation and acknowledged the violation. Due to Barnsley’s disqualification, Horsham, a non-league team participating in the Isthmian League, will advance to the second round of the FA Cup. This accomplishment signifies Horsham’s second-ever entrance into this esteemed tournament stage.
Kevin Borrett, Horsham’s chairman, sympathized with Barnsley and their fans, acknowledging their disappointment. He extended his heartfelt wishes to Barnsley Football Club as they strive to regain promotion to the EFL Championship by the conclusion of the 2023/24 season. Barnsley and their supporters have surely been deeply affected by this unforeseen twist of events, whereas Horsham can now anticipate their forthcoming match against Sutton United, who are from League Two. The FA Cup consistently delivers exhilarating instances and unforeseeable results, demonstrating the enchantment of football.