Rangers have been dealt a triple blow ahead of their Scottish Cup quarter-final against St Johnstone after the ‘Covid Five’ had their ban appeal dismissed [Scottishfa.co.uk].
Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Bongani Zungu, Brian Kinnear and Dapo Mebude were all initially handed four-game bans, with a further two matches suspended, by the SFA after breaching Covid regulations back in February.
Rangers insisted that the punishments were excessive and appealed the verdicts, with the players going on to feature in matches in the interim.
The matter is now finally closed, though, and the SFA have stood by their initial decision.
That ensures that first-team players Patterson, Bassey and Zungu will all be unavailable for Sunday’s Scottish Cup quarter-final against the Saints at Ibrox, as well as for three further domestic fixtures.
It means Steven Gerrard will be short of cover at full-back and in midfield for a substantial period.
Meanwhile, Kinnear and Mebude won’t be available for end-of-season fixtures for their respective loan clubs, Annan Athletic and Queen of the South.
20-year-old Kinnear has been serving as the backup goalkeeper for Annan in SPFL League Two, while 19-year-old Mebude has made 11 appearances for QoS in the Championship, scoring two goals.
Rangers released a statement on Thursday evening in which they expressed their disappointment at the outcome which ‘highlights the inconsistency of decision making in the Scottish FA’s disciplinary process’ [Rangers.co.uk].