Lifetime Scotland bans for Rangers duo

Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor were today told their Scotland careers are over and have been suspended for two weeks without pay by Rangers.

The club handed out the maximum sanction available after the pair were summoned to a meeting with chief executive Martin Bain having been sent home from training earlier in the day.

Both players were involved in a drinking session at Scotland’s team hotel at the weekend and then enraged club and national team bosses by apparently making V-signs while on the bench after being dropped for Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Iceland at Hampden.

The Scottish Football Association yesterday claimed the matter was closed but have acted this afternoon by announcing Ferguson and McGregor will no longer be considered for international selection.

The SFA have been besieged by phone calls and e-mails from Scotland fans.

It is understood the negative reaction from supporters and supporters’ groups added to the pressure for the matter to be discussed again.

Following a further meeting between chief executive Gordon Smith and manager George Burley, sanctioned by the SFA board, it was decided neither player would play for Scotland again.

Scotland boss George Burley insisted after Wednesday's game that both players would still be involved in future squads.

But, following a summit between Burley and chief executive Gordon Smith, the SFA have performed a dramatic u-turn.

An SFA spokesman said: “In light of the events of the past 48 hours and following further discussions between the national team manager and the chief executive, it has been decided that Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor will no longer be considered for international selection by Scotland.

“This action has been taken in the best interest of the squad, the fans and the country.

“We are determined to qualify for the World Cup and we must ensure that nothing is allowed to distract us from achieving this goal.”

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