Rangers players Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor had their life ban on playing for Scotland confirmed by the Scottish FA on Thursday. The pair indulged in a drinking session at the team's hotel in Scotland after a 3-0 defeat by the Netherlands in a World Cup qualifier in Amsterdam two weeks ago and were dropped to the bench for the next game against Iceland. Midfielder Ferguson and goalkeeper McGregor then reacted by making insulting signs at photographers during the 2-1 win at Hampden Park. "(Manager) George Burley made it clear today that he felt that their behaviour was disrespectful to him, to their team-mates and to the supporters," FA chief executive Gordon Smith said in a statement issued after a board meeting. Smith said Burley's demotion of the pair to the bench was the equivalent of a yellow card and their behaviour during the next match amounted "to a further yellow card. "...this is something that the board fully supported. For the avoidance of any doubt, the decision still stands and Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor will not be considered for international selection." The players were also suspended by Rangers without pay for two weeks while the 31-year-old Ferguson, who has played 45 times for his country, was stripped of the club captaincy. The FA said a new code of conduct would be introduced for all players representing Scotland in future.
9 April 2009
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