FORD Sea Angling Club has explained why Benfleet matchman Dion Macfayden was barred from competing at the club’s open match last month.
Macfayden was prevented from fishing the match after two flounders were found in his coolbox before the Ford Open event at Weston Shore, Southampton, started on January 22.
The angler claimed he had caught them the day before while practising for the match and was intending to take them back to Essex with him.
But stewards were unhappy he had the fish on the beach with him and he was barred from the event, although his son Marley was allowed to fish.
Macfayden, 45, denied he intended to cheat and paid for a lie detector test to back up his claims.
Officials from Ford SAC declined to comment on the matter until they had investigated it, but have now released a statement of their findings.
It claims Macfayden originally said the fish were mackerel, that the fish were concealed by his shelter and were whole flounders, while Macfayden claimed they had been gutted.
The statement also said Marley had said the two fish had been caught at Grays, although Macfayden said they had been caught at Hythe.
The stewards involved at the match had given signed written statements to the club, which also questioned the findings of the polygraph test.
Ford’s statement also said Macfayden would not be allowed to fish further Ford Opens.
A spokesman for the Southampton-based club confirmed that Ford SAC would not be making any further comment.
Both the club and Macfayden had hoped the Angling Trust, the sport’s governing body, would have arbitrated.
However, the trust decided it was a matter between the club and the angler as it was not a match the body had organised.
But a statement on the trust’s website said, after considering the case, the body backed Ford’s stance.
It also confirmed the trust would be notifying all of its member clubs of the incident and that Macfayden’s international application form had been rejected by the trust’s Marine National Team and Competition Group.
“I have had my say and they (Ford SAC) are entitled to put their version of events,” said Macfayden.
“I was disappointed with what they put down there and I know it’s their word against my word.
“I think they should have had us all round the table with the Angling Trust and we could have got around it that way.
“All I will do is go to matches and take my findings with me and we’ll see what they say. It’s just a shame the Angling Trust did not intervene as a body.”
To read the full Ford SAC statement, go to www.worldseafishing.com/forums/showthread.php/881231-Ford-Open-Club-Statement. For the Angling Trust statement, visit www.anglingtrust.net/news.asp?section=29§ionTitle=News&itemid=106.