Nathan Patterson and Bongani Zungu free to face Celtic as Rangers Covid group appeal date set

Nathan Patterson will be free to face Celtic in the Scottish Cup after a date was set for Rangers' appeal against five players' Covid-19 breaches.

Rangers Nathan Patterson will learn his, and his team-mates' fate, later this month. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

The Scottish Football Association has announced the appeal will be heard on April 20 - three days after the Old Firm fourth-round tie at Ibrox.

Patterson and fellow defender Calvin Bassey were able to feature in Sunday’s 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Cove Rangers after Ranger appealed the six-match suspension imposed by the Hampden disciplinary panel – four matches immediately imposed and two further game suspended on each in the group of five found guilty of breaking SFA rules and not acting in the best interests of football.

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The group also included youth goalkeeper Brian Kinnear, Bongani Zungu and striker Dapo Mebude on loan at Queen of the South and attended a house gathering during lockdown which was broken up by police in February.

Nathan Patterson celebrates making it 4-0 with Calvin Bassey during Scottish Cup Third Round tie between Rangers and Cove Rangers at Ibrox. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

Rangers appealed the punishment last Friday, which allowed Patterson to play, and score, in Sunday's 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Cove Rangers, alongside left-back Bassey. South African international midfielder Zungu missed the game through injury.

Manager Steven Gerrard hit out at the length of the bans after the win, which set up the last-16 match to be held at Ibrox on April 17, with a 4pm kick off. The winner will play St Johnstone or Clyde.

"We don't think everything has been taken into consideration when you are talking about the boys in terms of age and how damaging it could be for them in their careers moving forward now," Gerrard said.

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