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IFA Invoke FIFA Rule To Block Kyle Lafferty From Playing For Rangers

IFA Invoke FIFA Rule To Block Kyle Lafferty From Playing For Rangers
By Eoin Lyons Updated

Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty is set to miss his side's next game with Hamilton on Sunday after the Irish Football Association (IFA) invoked a FIFA's five day rule.

Lafferty had withdrawn himself from selection for Northern Ireland for their games against Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina, with manager Michael O'Neill revealing that Lafferty had phoned him in the middle of the night to rule himself out of the games:

Kyle had an Achilles problem, we knew he had an Achilles problem in September. He felt he would be better served not coming and being part of the squad for these two games - albeit he's been part of the Rangers squad all season.

I was unhappy to be telephoned 12 o'clock at night, [when I was] expecting the player to turn up on Monday. Kyle made himself unavailable. I've said all along, international football is a choice. The player decides to play or he doesn't.

O'Neill was clearly unhappy with Lafferty's decision and it seems that the IFA have now moved to punish the forward for skipping his international duties by citing the FIFA rule. A statement from the organisation reads as follows:

The Irish FA has written to Rangers FC regarding Kyle Lafferty who was selected in the Northern Ireland squad for the UEFA Nations League matches against Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina on 12 and 15 October 2018 respectively.

As the player did not comply with the Association’s call up, the player is in breach and as a result, the Association is invoking the FIFA regulation (FIFA Regulations for the status and transfer of players, Annexe 1, Section 5).

This states that ‘the player is not entitled to play for the club with which he is registered during the period for which he has been released or should have been released pursuant to the provisions of this annexe.

This restriction on playing for the club shall, moreover, be prolonged by five days in the event that the player, for whatsoever reason, did not wish to or was unable to comply with the call-up.

O'Neill also divulged that he will speak with Lafferty before Northern Ireland's next international against Ireland in next month, presumably to smooth out relations between the pair:

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I plan to have a chat [with him] but not before the game. There's not another international after this until November so there's plenty of time to have that conversation.

See Also: 'We Don't Have The Players' Is A Load Of Horseshite

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