Lifetime bans for Gers duo

Ban shock for Scottish duo following inquiry over conduct

Ferguson & McGregor: Banned

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Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor have been banned from ever representing Scotland again, while Rangers have suspended the pair for a fortnight without pay.

The news comes after an internal club inquiry into the players' conduct over the last week while on international duty with Scotland.

An SFA spokesman said: "In light of the events of the past 48 hours and following further discussions between the national team manager and the chief executive, it has been decided that Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor will no longer be considered for international selection by Scotland.

"This action has been taken in the best interest of the squad, the fans and the country.

Hard line

"We are determined to qualify for the World Cup and we must ensure that nothing is allowed to distract us from achieving this goal."

Midfielder Ferguson - who has been stripped of both club and country captaincy - and goalkeeper McGregor were called into a meeting with Gers Chief Executive Martin Bain at Murray Park on Friday, before Bain gave his verdict on the club's official website.

He said: "The overall conduct of the players during the last week while on Scotland duty has, regrettably, fallen considerably short of standards expected by Rangers Football Club and our supporters and has brought the Club into disrepute.

"The management of the Club has taken the view that this has damaged both Rangers and Scotland and is unacceptable.

"Even though our Club is entering a critical stage of the league season and the later stages of the Scottish Cup, appropriate disciplinary action was required."

The pair, who were involved in a lengthy drinking session after returning to Scotland from Holland last weekend, before making 'V signs' with their hands during the midweek match against Iceland, were both remorseful of their actions.

Apologies

Ferguson said: "I deeply regret what happened last weekend and the events during the last week and apologise wholeheartedly for the embarrassment caused to Scotland, Rangers, both sets of supporters and my friends and family.

"I have always considered playing for Rangers and Scotland an honour and a privilege and nothing will change that and I am bitterly disappointed by the announcement that I will not be selected for Scotland again."

McGregor - who made his competitive debut against Holland on Saturday - added: "I was absolutely delighted to be selected for Scotland last weekend and I am deeply sorry over what has happened since then.

"We all make mistakes in life and I am very disappointed to have let Rangers, Scotland, my family, all the fans down.

"I am also desperately disappointed that I will not be selected again for Scotland at this stage in my career."