Rangers star ruled out of int'l clash due to not being fully vaccinated
Photo by Christopher Lee - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Rangers star ruled out of int'l clash due to not being fully vaccinated

Rangers star Fashion Sakala has been ruled out of an upcoming World Cup Qualifier due to not being fully vaccinated, according to Football Association of Zambia general secretary Adrian Kashala.

Sakala made his senior international debut back in 2017 but hasn’t represented his country in some time.

Sakala was excused from duty ahead of his move to Rangers before missing a recent camp due to injury. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

He was excused from international duty just prior to joining the Gers in the summer and then missed a pair of World Cup Qualifiers in September due to injury.

He took to Twitter earlier this week to express his delight at being called up for a double-header against Equatorial Guinea.

However, it has now emerged that he’s only set to play the first of the matches in Equatorial Guinea’s capital, Malabo, on Thursday.

The 24-year-old can’t play in the second fixture in Zambia on Sunday as the southern African nation is on the UK’s red list and he isn’t fully vaccinated.

“FIFA has secured a conditional waiver with the English FA for players travelling to red-listed countries that they will be exempted from the 10-day mandatory quarantine on condition that they are fully vaccinated,” said Kashala [Africanfootball.com]. “Regrettably, our two [UK-based] players (Patson Daka of Leicester City and Sakala) are not fully vaccinated and cannot travel to Zambia for Sunday’s match.”

Rangers star Sakala has been ruled out of one of Zambia’s upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. (Photo by Christopher Lee – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

It’s a blow for Zambia, although they will still fancy their chances of securing the full six points against an Equatorial Guinea side ranked 46 places below them in the FIFA World Rankings.

The news is something of a boost for Rangers, though.

Sakala will be able to return to Auchenhowie early and fatigue should be less of a factor after less travelling and playing time.

In other news, the SFA are set to make a significant change in ‘direct response’ to a Rangers player incident.