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Saints foes are suspected sinners

Created on 17/08/2010 @ 12:24
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The New Saints of Llansantffraid and Oswestry’s (TNS) Europa Cup play-off first-leg clash against CSKA Sofia on Thursday has been thrown into disarray.
WITH the TNS management and players already en-route to Bulgaria, Uefa are probing allegations that CSKA fielded an ineligible player against Clinftonville in the previous round.
The news media in Northern Ireland is awash with stories that the Bulgarians played FC Pirin loanee Spas Delev in a 2-1 win over Irish League outfit Cliftonville on 5 August, three days after his contract had expired.
Hopes that the Ulster side could be reinstated into the competition may be dashed because Uefa rules state that any protests over player eligibility must be made within 24 hours of the game.
Uefa are investigating the matter and also alleged paperwork discrepancies in Delev's move from FC Pirin to Sofia.
CSKA defeated the north Belfast side 5-1 on aggregate in the third round qualifier with Delev playing in the second leg at Windsor Park. The Bulgarian Under-21 forward joined Sofia from Pirin in a one-year loan deal in 2009, with the possibility of making his move permanent.
The Irish FA and the FAW have contacted Uefa on behalf of Cliftonville and TNS respectively and there are expected to be developments today.
Last month, Uefa handed 3-0 Europa League defeats to FK Atyrau of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan's FC Baku after ruling that both clubs fielded ineligible players in second qualifying round first leg ties.
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