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Man Utd knocked out of Women’s League Cup after Aston Villa ‘ineligible player’ punishment

ASTON VILLA have kept their place in the Conti Cup’s quarter-finals despite fielding an ineligible player following an independent tribunal decision.

The outcome has led to Manchester United being eliminated from the contest with the club describing decision as “disappointing”.

Aston Villa have had the three points from their Conti Cup group stage defeat of Sunderland deducted

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Aston Villa have had the three points from their Conti Cup group stage defeat of Sunderland deductedCredit: Reuters
The points deduction follows Villa fielding Noelle Maritz in the game despite the defender being ineligible to play

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The points deduction follows Villa fielding Noelle Maritz in the game despite the defender being ineligible to playCredit: PA

Last Wednesday Villa emerged victorious from their final group stage fixture beating Sunderland 7-0 to finish top of group A.

However, the WSL side brought on Noelle Maritz as a second-half substitute when they were leading 3-0.

This was despite the defender, who sealed a January move from Arsenal, being cup-tied having played for the Gunners in the competition earlier this term.

Maritz featured in three Conti Cup matches for the North London club prior to sealing a temporary switch to Villa during the winter transfer window.

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Her appearance during Villa’s win last Wednesday breached Conti Cup rules prompting an FA investigation with the matter later referred to an independent tribunal.

This afternoon the Football Association released a written statement on the outcome.

It read: “An independent tribunal have deducted three points from Aston Villa for fielding an ineligible player during their League Cup group stage fixture against Sunderland on Wednesday, 24 January 2024.

“The FA alleged that the player was ineligible for this game, as she had previously featured in the competition for her former club, which constitutes a breach of Cup Rule 8.19.

“Aston Villa admitted this charge and acknowledged the breach had occurred.

“The independent tribunal ordered that the points deducted from Aston Villa be awarded to their opponents Sunderland, while the 7-0 scoreline is to be expunged from the record.

“As a result, Sunderland will finish as Group A winners, with Aston Villa progressing to the quarter-finals as one of the two best-placed runners-up alongside Tottenham Hotspur.”

The tribunal’s decision followed the Midlands side admitting the charge of fielding an ineligible player and acknowledging a breach had occurred.

Before this Sunderland had finished second in Group A.

But the team are now top with Villa reaching the Conti Cup quarters as one of best runners-up with a better goal difference than Man United’s.

After their 2-0 group B loss to Man City last Wednesday the Red Devils had a goal difference of nine.

Man United fell to a 2-0 loss to Man City in their final Conti Cup stage game

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Man United fell to a 2-0 loss to Man City in their final Conti Cup stage gameCredit: Getty

This afternoon Man United questioned the rationale of the tribunal’s decision.

In a club statement they said: “We are very disappointed with this outcome, and do not understand its rationale.

“We feel that it undermines the integrity of the competition, and of the women’s game.”

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