A Sunday League football team has been forced to fold after a dream game they played at the Cardiff City Stadium contravened rules.
Malsters Arms FC, pictured (via Geraint Hardy) above in red and white, won the chance to play at the home of the Bluebirds after winning a Barclays competition run as a thank you to grassroots football – but because the match was played on a Wednesday night the amateur side contravened rules and were forced to fold or face paying a heavy penalty.
The club, affiliated with the South Wales Football Association (SWFA), were summoned to a disciplinary meeting because they are not insured to play on any day except Sunday and did not seek permission from the local body.
A letter penned by SWFA honorary general secretary Mark Adams, obtained by Wales Online, read: “It has been brought to the attention of the association that your club played a friendly fixture versus Max United on Wednesday, May 7. Your club is affiliated as a designated Sunday club only.”
The club were also charged and later found guilty of misconduct as “clubs who are affiliated to a designated Sunday League can only play on that day.”
Malsters, who played in the Lazrou Cardiff Sunday Football League last season, were forced to fold because they could not afford the heavy fines they would’ve had to pay; they also lost the match 7-2.
“The SWFA can’t see that we are just football fans who had an amazing opportunity to live out a lifetime dream,” ex-player Andrew Proctor told the website.
“Instead it became an extremely sad last game by Malsters FC. It should have been a blaze of glory but the folding has taken the shine off.”
Former team-mate Stephen Deabreu added: “The club was formed when we were 16 and many of the boys were going onto further education or leaving school to pursue a career. Now the club has folded many of the boys don’t see each other on a weekly basis at training or at the game.
“To be able to play on the same pitch as Cardiff City and the national team, and having bragging rights of scoring in the same goal as Christiano Ronaldo, is an experience that no one can take away from me.”
The Independent are awaiting comment from the SWFA.