Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu and five of his Rangers team-mates who were banned for six games after breaching Covid-19 regulations have had their appeals dismissed.
Zungu, Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Dapo Mebude and Brian Kinnear were all charged after they were at a party that was broken up by police in February.
Each received six-game bans, with two suspended until the end of the season.
An independent appellate tribunal has upheld the punishments after Rangers contested the bans.
The Ibrox club said it was “disappointed” with the outcome. “Furthermore, we believe this outcome highlights the inconsistency of decision-making in the Scottish FA’s disciplinary process.
“We are cognisant that the approach taken by other football associations across Europe has no resemblance to that of the Scottish FA. We urge the Scottish FA to be open-minded to learn from other football authorities.”
Manager Steven Gerrard has previously said that he was “not too happy” with the players’ sanctions, calling them “harsh”.
It means 19-year-old Patterson – who has deputised for injured captain James Tavernier in recent weeks while awaiting the outcome of the appeal – will be unavailable for Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarterfinal against St Johnstone.
The group was fined by the club following the incident and they later apologised in an interview with Rangers’ TV channel.
The players were charged with breaching the Scottish FA’s disciplinary rule 24, which requires players to comply with Covid-19-related regulations. They were also accused of breaching rule 77, which covers the failure “to act in the best interests of Association Football”.
Earlier this season, Rangers duo Jordan Jones and George Edmundson were banned by the club for two weeks after attending an illegal house party. They each served seven-game suspensions. – BBC