Kyle Lafferty: Irish FA blocks Rangers striker from playing against Hamilton

Kyle Lafferty
Kyle Lafferty's last Northern Ireland appearance was the Nations League defeat by Bosnia-Herzegovina in September

Kyle Lafferty will not be able to play for Rangers against Hamilton Academical this weekend after the Irish Football Association invoked world governing body Fifa's five-day rule.

Lafferty, 31, was a late withdrawal from the Northern Ireland squad for their Nations League games against Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Manager Michael O'Neill expressed his disappointment with the decision.

And the IFA has written to Rangers to say the forward cannot play on Sunday.

That is because under Fifa rules, players who withdraw injured from international duty can be prevented from playing for their club for a further five days after the end of the international window.

In a statement, the association said they had contacted the Premiership side and added: "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)."

Lafferty told O'Neill that he had an Achilles injury but, speaking before the match with Austria in Vienna, the Northern Ireland boss indicated that he would be pursuing the matter.

"Kyle had an Achilles problem, we knew he had an Achilles problem in September," said O'Neill last week.

"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."

Northern Ireland face the Republic of Ireland in a friendly on 15 November in Dublin before finishing their Nations League campaign with a match against Austria in Belfast on 18 November.

What do Fifa's rules state?

"A player who has been called up by his association for one of its representative teams is, unless otherwise agreed by the relevant association, 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."

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