Raith want answers over Rangers Ryan Hardie recall

Ryan Hardie in action for Rangers against Falkirk. Picture: Michael Gillen
Ryan Hardie in action for Rangers against Falkirk. Picture: Michael Gillen
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RAITH Rovers have questioned whether Rangers have breached Scottish Football Association rules by ensuring striker Ryan Hardie is available for the clubs’ Championship match at Ibrox on Saturday.

The Fife club are furious that Hardie will be able to play at the weekend, claiming Rangers secured his early release from the Scotland Under-19 side who are in Bulgaria.

Raith’s Craig Wighton is also in the national Under-19 squad and has remained with them for Friday’s match against the Bulgarians, meaning he will miss the Rangers game.

A statement on the Fife club’s website read: “Ahead of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Championship match versus Rangers at Ibrox, Raith Rovers FC has today asked the Scottish FA’s compliance officer to consider whether he agrees that Rangers FC, through David Weir, have breached SFA articles and rules by requesting and securing the early release of its player Ryan Hardie from international duty with Scotland Under-19s in Bulgaria, for the sole reason that he is then available to play against Raith Rovers.

“Raith Rovers FC also has an important player in the same under-19 squad, first-team regular Craig Wighton, and Craig remains in Bulgaria and available for selection for Friday evening’s national representative match. He will fly home with the rest of the squad on Saturday afternoon.

“We are delighted that Craig is receiving international recognition, and whilst we are without his services for the crucial match with Rangers, our loss is Scotland’s gain.

“Naturally we are concerned that if there is any breach of article 82.1 and rules 56 and 57, this would – in these circumstances – result in an unfairness in terms of players available for selection for Saturday’s match, which is to our disadvantage.”