Ineligible player costs Zepce

NK Zepce have been handed a 3-0 defeat in their UEFA Cup tie against FK Baskimi for using a suspended player.

Suspended player
The first-leg tie in F.Y.R. Macedonia on 14 July ended in a 0-0 draw, but UEFA's control and disciplinary body ruled that the result should be a 3-0 victory for the home side as Zepce's Iljko Tomic, who was fielded for the entire first half, should have been serving a one-match suspension.

Old red card
Tomic had been handed a two-match ban after receiving a red card while playing in a UEFA Intertoto Cup game for former club FK Sloboda Tuzla against K. Lierse SK on 5 July 2003. He served the first part of that suspension in the second leg of that tie, but failed to serve the second last week.

Club's responsibility
Zepce, backed by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Federation, pleaded ignorance of the suspension hanging over their player, but UEFA ruled that - since it is the club's responsibility to check the eligibility of players - Zepce should be punished with the award of a 3-0 win to Bashkimi.

Appeal date
Furthermore, Tomic must now complete his ban in the second leg of the tie, which will be held in Zenica on 28 July. Zepce have until midnight on Thursday 21 July to appeal against the decision.