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Statement | Papa John's Trophy

A media advisory from the EFL.

10 November 2021

A statement has been issued by the EFL with regards to the Papa John's Trophy group stage.

The EFL Board has determined that West Ham United under 21’s will receive a 3-point penalty from this season’s Papa John’s Trophy group standings, for fielding an ineligible player in the Southern Group A fixture against Gillingham on 26 October.

Having received yellow cards in each of the previous two group fixtures, Ajibola Alese was suspended from playing and unavailable for selection, though featured in the fixture which West Ham United under 21’s won 2-0.

In accordance with Rule 30 of the Papa John’s Trophy, following consideration of all available evidence, the EFL Board has also determined that alongside the 3-point penalty, Gillingham will now be awarded the £10,000 win bonus as compensation for the costs of hosting the fixture, though no further financial penalty will be imposed on West Ham United for the breach in light of mitigating factors put forward by the club.

The EFL Board considered this matter by way of correspondence and reached a decision prior to kick off in the fixture between Ipswich Town and Colchester United.

West Ham United’s points tally for the Group stage will now total 3 points and the Club will finish third in Southern Group A, with Colchester United now progressing to the next stage of the competition in second place.


Ipswich Town go through as group winners with Colchester in second. Gillingham and West Ham U21 are eliminated. 

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