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Irish FA blocks Lafferty from playing for Rangers

Irish FA blocks Lafferty from playing for Rangers
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Europa League - Group Stage - Group G - Villarreal v Rangers - Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal, Spain - September 20, 2018 Rangers' Kyle Lafferty celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Heino Kalis/File Photo   -   Copyright  Heino Kalis(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Northern Ireland have prevented Kyle Lafferty from playing for his club Rangers in Sunday’s Scottish Premiership match against Hamilton after the forward pulled out of their Nations League games against Austria and Bosnia.

The 31-year-old was a late withdrawal for last week’s games, prompting the Irish FA to invoke a rarely-enforced FIFA rule that prevents players who pull out injured from international duty from representing their clubs for five days after the end of the international window.

“As the player did not comply with the 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),” the Irish FA said.

The BBC reported that Lafferty, who has 68 caps for Northern Ireland, withdrew from the squad ahead of their trip to Vienna after informing manager Michael O’Neill of an Achilles injury.

Northern Ireland were beaten 1-0 by Austria before they fell 2-0 to Bosnia on Monday to leave them without any points from three games in League B Group 3.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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