FORMER Sunderland boss Steve Bruce insists his old club should be docked
points over their ‘ineligible player’ cock-up.
today revealed how the Black Cats had played Ji Dong-Won FIVE times this
season — despite an error in his FIFA registration.
The relegation-haunted Black Cats were fined a six-figure sum for the blunder.
But Bruce insists the “serious” offence should come with a far tougher
Asked if fielding an ineligible player deserved a points deduction, Hull boss
Bruce said: “It’s the first I have heard of it and it will be interesting.
“I would have thought so though.”
Ji played in four league clashes and the Capital One Cup tie against MK Dons
without international clearance.
The Black Cats picked up just a point from the Premier League games.
And Bruce added: “That’s pretty bizarre stuff that it’s only surfaced now and
he’s played in four games.
“They should be in serious trouble, I would have thought.”
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce later agreed that the Black Cats have got “lucky”.
The Hammers were ordered to replay their 1999 League Cup quarter-final against
Aston Villa after fielding ineligible Emmanuel Omoyinmi.
They were also forced to pay relegated Sheffield United £25MILLION
and hit with a further £5m fine over the 2007 Carlos Tevez saga.
And Allardyce said: “The football authorities have got to show a bit of
consistency here. They’ve got to stick with what happened before.
“It’s yet another example of how punishments this season from them have been
“I think Sunderland can consider themselves rather lucky if they have just got
a fine. And why has it taken so long for it to come to light?
“He played in four Premier League games as well as the cup game and I would
have thought everyone in the football world will be wondering why the
punishment is so lenient, especially if other people have been punished more
“Put it this way — if I was sat here in a position in the bottom of the league
then I would be saying: Why are we not seeing the correct punishment?
“And I’m sure the owners would see it the same way.”
Sunderland blamed the mix-up on a clerical error while registering Ji with
FIFA and insist his paperwork WAS in order with the Premier League.
Stadium of Light chiefs raised the issue with the league themselves last year
and were fined in December.
And they this afternoon insisted: “The matter is now closed.”
A club statement said: “The issue of Ji Dong-Won was explained in detail at
today’s Premier League shareholders’ meeting and no issues were raised by
“Sunderland AFC confirmed that they had complied with all procedures and the
Premier League stated that the player was duly registered on the extranet
system and in all other Premier League mechanisms.
“The club has never accepted any wrongdoing, but did acknowledge that a
technical fault occurred and as such were fined by the Premier League
accordingly in December.
“The matter is now closed.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Cardiff side are in a tense relegation battle with the
But asked if he would make a legal challenge if the Bluebirds go down,
Solskjaer added: “Well, we would have to do it now.
“You would have to react now but we have to make sure we get the points we
need so it is not an issue.”