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Irish FA block Kyle Lafferty from playing for Rangers

Kyle Lafferty will miss Rangers' trip to Hamilton after the Irish FA invoked a ruling.

Blocked: The Irish FA have invoked a rule to stop Kyle Lafferty playing for Rangers.
Blocked: The Irish FA have invoked a rule to stop Kyle Lafferty playing for Rangers. SNS

Kyle Lafferty is to miss Rangers' trip to Hamilton after the Irish FA invoked FIFA's five-day rule to block him from playing, STV understands.

National team boss Michael O'Neill was left angered after Lafferty pulled out of Northern Ireland's Nations League double-header at the last minute, leaving him short on options up-front.

O'Neill voiced his frustration at receiving a call at midnight on the Sunday before the squad met from the Light Blues striker, who the manager said cited an Achilles issue despite playing for Rangers earlier in the day.

Northern Ireland lost both matches over the international break, failing to score a goal.

Now, STV understands the IFA have written to the Ibrox side to inform them they have taken the step of activating FIFA's ruling to prevent Lafferty from making a quick return to action.

The regulation states that, if requested, a player cannot feature for his club until five days have passed at the end of an international period.

Although Northern Ireland lost to Bosnia on Monday, the rule does not come into effect until the end of all fixtures, which means Sunday's trip to Accies comes too soon for Lafferty to play.

Steven Gerrard will now be without the forward, while he will have to assess Scott Arfield's fitness after he missed Canada's 5-0 win on Tuesday with a hamstring issue.

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