Hibs face Premier Sports Cup exit over defender's booking mistake

Hibs have been charged with breaking Premier Sport Cup rules and face being kicked out of the competition following Wednesday’s defeat to Morton.

The penalty shoot-out loss left last season’s finalists on the brink of an embarrassing elimination, but the potential punishment of a 3-0 defeat and fine for fielding an ineligible player could kick Lee Johnson’s side out at the group stage.

Defender Rocky Bushiri was booked in the two prior games in the competition – against Falkirk and Bonnyrigg Rose – and started the Wednesday night match at Easter Road.

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Hibs have now been summoned to a Hampden hearing to explain and await their fate. A club statement confirmed: “There will be an SPFL hearing later today (Thursday) where the details will be discussed confidentially and an outcome will be reached.”

Stranraer have also been cited for another ineligible player breach and a previous disciplinary hearing for a similar offence this season resulted in Elgin City incurring a £1000 fine and 3-0 point defeat against Ayr.

Overturning the result and handing Morton the win would add a point to the Greenock side’s two-point haul from their penalty shoot-out win. Hibs would lose their point awarded for the 1-1 draw after 90 minutes taking their tally for the section to six, falling behind Falkirk on seven in Group D.

Morton would also share second spot with six points and a game in hand with Bonnyrigg also presented with a chance to progress at the weekend, with four points from three games so far.

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Rocky Bushiri was booked against Falkirk and Bonnyrigg Rose. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The SPFL citation explained: “Hibernian have confirmed to the SPFL that they included a player in Wednesday’s Premier Sports Cup Group D game against Morton at Easter Road, who was subject to a one-match suspension in the competition.

“The game ended in a 1-1 draw, with Morton winning the penalty shoot-out 3-1 for the bonus point.

“As a result, both Stranraer and Hibernian have each been charged with breaching an SPFL Regulation and the SPFL has arranged disciplinary hearings for later today.”

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Fellow Premiership side St Mirren have also been knocked out in the group stage while the chances of 2021 winners St Johnstone rest on the weekend’s results.

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