Scottish Women’s Football (SWF) were advised by the Perform and Win Committee that they had considered an alleged breach of competition rules by Aberdeen FC Ladies (AFCL), pertaining to their Scottish Building Society SWPL 2 fixtures against Hearts Women (August 5th), Glasgow Girls (August 19th), and St Johnstone (August 26th) and a number of SWFL 1 North fixtures throughout the season.
The Perform and Win committee also operates as the League Management Committee and is chaired by SWF Board member Karen McGowan. This committee is comprised of 3 Scottish FA nominated personnel, and 3 club representatives from across the senior women’s game. This committee is responsible for governing the senior game in accordance with the League and League Cup competition rules and seeks to apply these rigorously and without favour.
After convening an Emergency Meeting, the committee determined that the below rule had been breached:
Competition Rule 20(a): ‘To be eligible to participate in the Leagues and League Cup Competitions, players must be registered with the Scottish FA through Scottish Women’s Football, in accordance with the terms of the Scottish Women’s Football Registration Procedures.’
The Perform and Win Committee was made aware that AFCL made an attempt to register the player on a dual registered recreational form however, due to the format of the file being incompatible with SWF electronic mail security systems, this was never received by SWF and as a consequence, the player was not registered. However, despite the technical issues in the background of this situation, it remains the case that ultimate responsibility for ensuring players are registered lies with each club. SWF provides confirmation by email for all player registrations. AFCL – who were represented at the emergency meeting – acknowledged their understanding of the process in place but on this occasion, assumed the form had been received and the player was registered.
For this reason, the Perform and Win committee determined that all fixtures featuring the ineligible player be awarded 3-0 to their opponents and Aberdeen were issued with a fine for each match featuring the player ineligibly.
The committee had a great deal of sympathy for the club and recognised the complexity of the situation however in the interests of fairness, transparency and consistency in applying the rules of the game, the committee agreed this was the only option available. Every effort will be made to support the club going forward.
The result and league tables will be updated accordingly. SWF acknowledges Aberdeen’s right to appeal and will make no further comment on this matter.