Boston, June 14. (AP) – President Bill Cunningham, of the American Soccer League, announced today that Tuesday's semi-final league championship game between Boston and Bethlehem at Brooklyn, which Bethlehem won 4 to 0, had been declared no contest. This decision was reached when it became known that the Bethlehem lineup contained goalkeeper Steve Smith, a registered member of the Brooklyn football club, who was borrowed for the occasion to replace Dave Edwards, injured in the Boston game last Saturday.
Cunningham ruled that although Bethlehem used Smith with the passive permission of the Boston management, the transaction was incompatible with the rules of the league. The decision automatically moves Boston into the finals against the New Bedford club and the single final game for the league championship will be played at New Bedford on Saturday, June 16.
By the league ruling Bethlehem is the victim of the most severe slap ever received.
Bethlehem received word of the Boston protest on Wednesday. According to advices the league notified the New Bedford club that the Steelmen were out and Boston in the final late on Thursday afternoon. The management of the local club was advised of the decision by telegram a day later.
It is quite certain that Boston was heard on the protest but the executives even lacked the courtesy of having a Bethlehem representative present to hear its side of the case.
By the league ruling the protest stands and the game is ruled "no contest" a ruling similar to which has been made before but the team that was deprived of the victory was at least favored with a replay and an opportunity to win again. The league did not have the courtesy to give Bethlehem this opportunity, but asserts that "automatically" Boston gets into the final with New Bedford.
It will be recalled that when the New York Nationals protested Bethlehem's right as the fourth club in the elimination series, the rules were twisted to the liking of the league's fancy to enable the Nats, who had absolutely no business in the race, to enter as the fifth club. The Nats were defeated and took their licking in the graces of good sportsmen.
The attitude of other clubs in regards to this ruling is probably reflected in the remarks over the long distance telephone and coming form the New Bedford management today in which it was stated that the action of the league was the most outrageous ever submitted.