SFA say Dunfermline expelled from Scottish Cup
Dunfermline have been sensationally kicked out of the Scottish Cup for ''a number of breaches of the cup competition rules'' in last Saturday's fourth-round win over Stenhousemuir.
The Scottish Football Association decided to eject the Pars from this season's competition following an emergency meeting at Hampden Park.
Dunfermline's expulsion came partly as the result of fielding Calum Woods, who came off the bench in the second half of the 7-1 win at East End Park, despite the SFA's official suspensions list declaring him banned for the match.
However, it has emerged the First Division club were guilty of further rule breaches, including submitting an inaccurate team line, altering a named substitute and not registering two outfield under-21 players.
The SFA said Dunfermline ''admitted liability'' in failing to acknowledge the suspension of Woods, despite receiving 26 issues of the official suspension list, in addition to the normal method of notification.
Subject to any appeal, Stenhousemuir will replace the Pars in fifth round of the competition, where they could face a lucrative home tie with Celtic, who have still to play Morton in round four.
SFA chief executive Gordon Smith said: ''While it is unfortunate that Dunfermline Athletic will no longer be participating in the Active Nation Scottish Cup, the emergency committee were left with no alternative after it emerged the club had breached several of the cup competition rules.
''The integrity of the Active Nation Scottish Cup was paramount in the decision making process.''
Speaking to his club's official website earlier this week, Pars boss Jim McIntyre apologised to the club's fans for fielding Woods.
''We have made an administrative mistake that we hold our hands up for,'' he said. ''We are deeply sorry and would like to take this opportunity to apologise for embarrassing the club and supporters by this mistake. When we did the checks online at the SFA website, the wrong page - Cup Cautions - has been checked. It was an honest mistake.
''Obviously, this overshadows the team's fantastic performance. It was a display that showed great attitude and seven splendid goals. You can rest assured that nothing like this will ever happen again.''
Brechin were ejected from the Scottish Cup in 2008 after fielding two ineligible players in a victory over Hamilton.
The SFA initially ordered a replay and fined Brechin £10,000 when it was thought only one ineligible player had been fielded. But the club were expelled once it emerged a second such player had also been used.
Dunfermline confirmed they would appeal their expulsion, saying in a statement: ''DAFC would, first and foremost, sincerely apologise to all their fans for this situation. DAFC do believe, however, that being expelled from The Active Nation Scottish Cup is excessive and do intend to appeal the SFA decision.''