Hibernian have been charged by the Scottish Professional Football League for fielding the suspended Rocky Bushiri in Wednesday’s Premier Sports Cup clash with Morton.
The Easter Road club face a hearing later on Thursday after confirming they played the Belgian defender, who was subject to a one-match ban after picking up yellow cards in the recent fixtures against Falkirk and Bonnyrigg.
Rules state that two bookings in the League Cup automatically equates to a suspension for the following game.
The administrative error will almost certainly ensure last season’s beaten finalists, who were already on the brink of crashing out at the group stage by virtue of their results, will be officially eliminated from the tournament.
Hibs picked up one point from Wednesday’s match after drawing 1-1 and then losing on penalties but the result is likely to be converted into a 3-0 defeat, as was the case in a similar scenario when Elgin fielded the suspended Darryl McHardy against Ayr the week before last.
The likely removal of a point from the Hibees’ current tally of seven would end their slender hopes of finishing ahead of Falkirk in the group and cap an ignominious start to the season for the Premiership club under new manager Lee Johnson following slip-ups against two of their four lower-league opponents in Group D.
Stranraer have also been charged with fielding a player who was subject to a one-match suspension in Tuesday’s game away to Forfar. The Stair Park side were already guaranteed to finish bottom of their group after taking just one point from their four matches.