Burley - Bans not my decision
George Burley has distanced himself from the decision to ban Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor.
Last Updated: 12/04/09 12:22pm
George Burley has distanced himself from the decision to ban Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor from international football for life.
The Scotland boss is keen to clarify that he played no part in the sanctions imposed on the Rangers pair by the Scottish Football Association.
Captain Ferguson and goalkeeper McGregor were reprimanded following their behaviour prior to and during Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Iceland.
Both players took part in an extended drinking session upon returning to the Scotland camp following a 3-0 defeat in Holland, a qualifier played on the weekend prior to the midweek Iceland clash.
They then hit the headlines again by flicking V-signs during the Iceland game at Hampden, which led to them being told their Scotland careers were over, as well as earning a two-week suspension from Rangers.
The governing body's handling of the whole incident has been criticised and
Burley is keen to set the record straight about his own role in the affair.
Black and white
"I don't think it's been handled greatly," Burley admitted.
"I just want to clarify a few matters and be black and white about the facts. It's important people know how the SFA works.
"The Scotland manager doesn't decide who is banned.
"The only people who make that decision are the board of the SFA and I'm not on the board.
"They ask the manager what he thinks and I was very disappointed and hurt by the actions of Ferguson and McGregor on the bench.
"But I stress, it's not me, it's not the chief executive, it's not the president, but the board as a whole who decide these matters.
"They decide whether to ban anyone and decide if somebody should get back in the squad.
"They might come back to me in the future and ask for my opinion, which I will give them.
"But I stress, I didn't ban them. Although I felt totally let down."
Reports at the time claimed Burley had given permission for his players to have a couple of drinks after returning in the early hours of the morning from Amsterdam.
But he insists that was not the case, adding: "The players all went for food and two of my staff innocently agreed to allow them to have a drink.
"I was unaware the players were at the bar.
"If I had known, I would have arranged for someone to make sure they went to their beds after one drink."