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Hibernian apologise after admin error leads to Premier Sports Cup elimination

Hibernian are out of the Premier Sports Cup (PA)
Hibernian are out of the Premier Sports Cup (PA)

Hibernian have apologised to supporters after an administrative blunder ended their slim hopes of Premier Sports Cup progression.

Morton have been awarded a 3-0 win after Hibs fielded the suspended Rocky Bushiri during their final group game on Wednesday night.

Hibs drew 1-1 before missing three penalties in the shoot-out as Morton collected the bonus point.

The result had kept Hibs alive in Group D, albeit they would have needed Clyde to win at Falkirk on Saturday to stand any realistic chance of progress.

Rocky Bushiri, centre
Rocky Bushiri (centre) played despite a one-match ban (Andrew Milligan/PA)

However, those hopes were extinguished when it emerged that they should not have played Bushiri after he was booked in each of their previous two matches.

Hibs were charged by the Scottish Professional Football League and a swift disciplinary hearing saw them effectively docked a point as well as being handed an immediate £1,000 fine.

A club statement read: “Hibernian FC would like to apologise to its supporters, to Greenock Morton, and to the SPFL for the rule breach.

“The administrative error has been investigated internally, and whilst processes are already in place to prevent issues of this nature from occurring, additional steps have been added to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson has had a difficult start (Hibernian FC)

The development caps an ignominious start to the season for the Premiership club under new manager Lee Johnson following defeat against Falkirk and the home draw with Morton, who won the shoot-out 3-1.

Falkirk are now a point ahead of Hibs and three clear of both Morton and Bonnyrigg Rose, who face each other on Saturday.

Stranraer were handed the same punishment for a similar mistake after playing the suspended Paul Woods during their 2-2 Group H draw at Forfar on Tuesday.

The Stair Park side were already guaranteed to finish bottom of their group after taking just one point from their four matches.