Hanwood FC is urgently seeking further clarification on state league suspensions after midfielder Andy Gamble was handed a five-game ban while playing for Wagga City Wanderers.
The Pascoe Cup competition leaders fear Gamble, who is a dual-registered player, is being punished twice if he has to sit out Hanwood games as well, if they don't count towards the suspension.
Gamble was handed a five-game penalty by Capital Football for allegedly headbutting the chest of an opponent after he was fouled last Saturday.
The Wanderers insist there was no contact, but without video evidence Gamble was hit with the minimum ban - one game for a red card and four additional weeks - based on the referee's report of violent conduct.
The state league club believes Gamble was harshly punished, but don't have grounds to appeal.
Hanwood FC are the collateral damage. They can't appeal the five-game ban incurred in a national premier league game but don't believe Gamble should also miss additional games for his club.
"Andy's very disappointed. He's disappointed it happened in the first place. He's very contrite," Hanwood FC secretary Brian Bertolin said.
"But if you get a five-match ban in Capital Football we don't think you should serve five games there and five games in the Pascoe Cup. That's a 10-game suspension.
"It's a little bit hard to swallow so we've just asked for clarity around how it's served. Football Wagga have been very good. We're new to Wagga and we don't know if it's happened in the past."
Hanwood believe Pascoe Cup games should count towards the five-game ban. They already stood Gamble down last Sunday after his red card on Saturday.
Football Wagga earlier this week confirmed a local rule that players suspended in NPL can't play in the Pascoe Cup.
President Tony Dobbin said on Friday afternoon they are seeking further advice from Football NSW.
Hanwood and the Wanderers believe Football Federation Australia rules state suspensions are to be served in the competition in which they're incurred.
Hanwood coach Anthony Agresta said it hurts, and will make clubs think twice about allowing dual registered players.
"I think it's unfair the way it is," Agresta said.
"It's one of those things, you don't want to stop players playing for Wanderers and at a higher level. You want them to play at that level. But when you look at it like this, because of the rule that's in place (locally), it's not ideal."
The Wanderers' last home-and-away game of the season is on Sunday. Even with a win, their finals hopes hinge on other results. If they don't qualify, the grey areas around the effect of the five-game suspension for Gamble, and when he'd be available to play, are only more clouded.
If a Wanderers player is suspended in a Pascoe Cup match, they don't miss national premier league games.
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