Mannygate revisited as West Ham kicked out

  • by Staff Writer
  • Wednesday, 10th November 2021

West Ham United have been thrown out of the EFL Papa John's Trophy after being charged with fielding an illegible player - in a tie against Gillingham.

23 years ago Harry Redknapp's Hammers were ordered to replay a Worthington (League) Cup quarter final tie against Aston Villa after it was revealed West Ham had fielded the ineligible Manny Omonyinmi for the final few minutes of extra time.

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Omoyinmi left West Ham for good shortly after being held responsible for the Worthington Cup farce

The young forward was unable to feature for West Ham as he had played in an earlier round for Gillingham where he had spent time on loan, although nobody at the club picked up on it at the time - while the player failed to alert the club.

West Ham were sent spiralling out of the competition after losing the replayed tie despite having won the original match after extra time - and the club's secretary Graham Mackrell fell on his sword by resigning from his position at the club as a result.

And in a bizarre twist of that event West Ham United's current Under 23s have been kicked out of the 2021 EFL Trophy after it was determined they had fielded an illegible player in an earlier round of the competition - against Gillingham.

A statement released by the club on Thursday acknowledged the EFL's decision. "The club has been fined and have had the three points collected in the 2-0 win over Gillingham in October removed from the Southern Section Group A total after inadvertently fielding an ineligible player during the fixture," it read.

"Clubs are informed of on-field player disciplinary records and suspensions via The FA’s online portal and, despite this not identifying the suspension of the player concerned at the time and therefore the pertinent formal notification from The FA not being provided, the club notes the decisions reached and await the full written reasons.

"The club became aware of and volunteered this information to The FA at the time of informing them that another West Ham United player had triggered a suspension after picking up a further caution in their final game of the group stage, despite that information also not showing on the online portal or being correctly notified to the club.

"The points deduction means that West Ham United’s Under-21s team now no longer occupy a top-two position in the Southern Section Group A table and will not qualify for the knockout stages of the competition."

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Alese played against the Gills despite being on a one-match ban

The player in question, defender Aji Alese should not have featured against the Gills having picked up two yellow cards in previous matches. However he played the full 90 minutes in West Ham's 2-0 win leading to today's decision.

West Ham have been replaced in the competition's last 32 by Colchester United.

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