Kyle Lafferty row: Rangers were in danger of losing points

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard was warned that, had he picked Kyle Lafferty against Hamilton tomorrow, the match result could have been annulled and a 3-0 win awarded to Accies.

Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty in training. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS

In a rare move, Northern Ireland used a Fifa rule which prohibits a player who fails to report for his country turning out for his club within five days of the closure of the international window.

The Irish FA were unhappy that Lafferty pulled out of the squad for the matches against Austria and Bosnia Herzegovina on 12 and 15 October in a phone call, saying he had an Achilles problem.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

After the Fifa rule was invoked, Gerrard was warned of the consequences and, although the SPFL has never dealt with such a case, if he had chosen to play Lafferty tomorrow, Rangers could have had any points won deducted from them and a 3-0 scoreline given to Accies.

Gerrard, in conjunction with club officials, decided it was not worth the risk to use the striker.

Northern Ireland lost both matches during the international window and, since the row broke out, Lafferty has attempted to build bridges with manager Michael O’Neill and has confirmed he still wants to represent his country.