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Eligibility row gives Shels Cup hope

SHELBOURNE could end up back in the FAI Cup due to a player-eligibility issue surrounding the defeat of Shels by non-league side Sheriff YC last week.

Shels, who are the league leaders in the League of Ireland First Division and on course for automatic promotion back to the Premier Division after five seasons outside the top flight, were the surprise losers in Friday's tie at Tolka Park after they threw away a 2-0 half-time lead to lose the match 3-2.

But, today, the FAI has said that it will examine claims of a player eligibility issue, which has handed Shels a lifeline.

"The Domestic Committee of the Football Association of Ireland was today made aware of a possible player eligibility issue in relation to Sheriff YC following their recent FAI Ford Cup match against Shelbourne FC on August 26," said the FAI in a statement.

"The Domestic Committee has written today to Sheriff YC, the Athletic Union League and the Competition Manager requesting their attendance at a meeting on Friday, September 2, 2011."

Sheriff had been given a tie at home to Limerick FC in the quarter-finals of the competition.

IRELAND U21 coach Noel King has been forced to make another change to his squad as Crystal Palace forward Sean Scannell has been ruled out.

Scannell will miss the opening game of the European Championship qualifying campaign against Hungary in Sligo tomorrow and the away tie to Turkey next week with an injury, so Plymouth's Conor Hourihane has been called up.

SPL side Aberdeen have sent Ireland U19 cap Joe Shaughnessy on loan to Forfar Athletic.

The defender, who was born in Reading but then moved to Galway when he was five years old, broke into the Aberdeen side at the end of last season and he went on to impress for the Irish U19s at the European Championship finals in Romania last month.

But Dons boss Craig Brown wants Shaughnessy to get more experience, so he'll spend the next four months with the Scottish Second Division side.