Football: Elgin dispute 'cheat' ruling

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The Independent Online
ELGIN CITY said yesterday that they would vigorously contest the Highland League's decision to strip them of their championship, writes Henry Winter. The League's management committee put a considerable dampener on Elgin's celebrations when they ruled that the Borough Briggs club had cheated by bringing forward their final match to ensure the availability of two players who were facing suspension.

Ben Strachan, the Elgin secretary, said: 'We have looked at the rules book and don't know which rule we are supposed to have broken. Dundee had no fixture last weekend and they wanted to play us on Sunday, so John Teasdale, our player-manager, contacted Forres to see if we could play our last game of the season on the Friday. They got the go-ahead from the League to bring the game forward.'

Elgin won 6-0 with help from Teasdale and John McDonald, who, the League said, were due to start bans the following day - the original date for the Forres match. Elgin's win gave them the championship. 'The feeling at the club is of sour grapes by the Highland League management committee,' Strachan said. 'We will definitely appeal to the SFA, but they still haven't told us which rule we have broken, only the punishment.'

Rangers are unlikely to have any problem with their championship; they will secure their fifth successive title if they prise a point from Airdrie at Broomfield Park today.