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Northern Ireland block Kyle Lafferty from playing for Rangers on Sunday following international no-show

The Fermanagh-born striker ruled himself out of Northern Ireland’s Nations League games this week.

Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty.
Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

KYLE LAFFERTY WILL miss Rangers’ Scottish Premiership game against Hamilton this weekend, after the Northern Ireland FA invoked a Fifa regulation following his absence from international duty.

The 31-year-old ruled himself out of Northern Ireland’s Uefa Nations League double-header against Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina this week, breaching the Association’s call-up.

His decision to not join up with Michael O’Neill’s squad means he will now miss out on his club’s game at New Douglas Park on Sunday.

“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,” said a statement on Wednesday.

“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).

Northern Ireland v Switzerland - 2018 World Cup Qualifying - Play Off - First Leg - Windsor Park The Enniskillen-born forward has made 68 appearances for Northern Ireland. Source: Niall Carson

The regulation 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.’

Lafferty was  reportedly struggling with an Achilles problem, however it was expected that he would join up with the Northern Ireland squad last week for their two games.

O’Neill’s men tasted defeat in both of their Nations League outings, falling away to Austria 1-0 before a brace from AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko saw Bosnia run away 2-0 victors on Monday night.

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Aaron Gallagher

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