Lafferty out of Rangers match after Irish FA invoke five-day rule

Striker cited Achilles injury when he withdrew from Northern Ireland squad late on

The Irish FA has invoked Fifa's five-day rule, which will prevent Kyle Lafferty playing for Rangers against Hamilton on Sunday.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill said the Gers striker cited an Achilles injury when he withdrew from the squad at the last minute ahead of crunch Nations League games away to Austria and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The IFA released a statement that confirmed it would block Lafferty's participation in the Ladbrokes Premiership match against Accies.

The statement read: "The Irish FA has written to Rangers FC regarding Kyle Lafferty, who was selected in the Northern Ireland squad for the Uefa Nations League matches against Austria and Bosnia & Herzegovina on October 12th and 15th respectively.


"As the player did not comply with the association's call-up, the player is in breach, and as a result the association is invoking the Fifa regulation.

“This states that ‘the player is not entitled to play for the club with which he is registered during the period for which he has been released or should have been released pursuant to the provisions of this annexe.

“This restriction on playing for the club shall, moreover, be prolonged by five days in the event that the player, for whatsoever reason, did not wish to or was unable to comply with the call-up’.”

Mané’s operation

Liverpool forward Sadio Mané has undergone an operation on the thumb injury he sustained on international duty with Senegal.

It has been a troubled break for the Reds, with Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita also doubts for Saturday's Premier League clash with Huddersfield, while Virgil van Dijk has been playing despite a rib problem.

A statement on the Liverpool website read: "[We] can confirm Sadio Mané today underwent a procedure on a hand injury sustained while on international duty with Senegal.

“The surgery, conducted at a northwest hospital and supervised by club medics, was successful.

“Mané’s recovery will be monitored over the next couple of days ahead of the Reds’ return to action at Huddersfield Town on Saturday.”

Salah returned early from international duty after being forced off with a muscle strain during Egypt’s 4-1 victory over Swaziland in an African Nations Cup qualifier last Friday.

Keita, meanwhile, was pictured being carried off the pitch by a team-mate during Guinea’s draw against Rwanda on Tuesday after apparently suffering a hamstring injury.

With James Milner expected to be sidelined by his own hamstring problem, Jürgen Klopp could be left short in midfield.

Van Dijk does appear certain to play against Huddersfield despite Holland manager Ronald Koeman claiming he has been playing with broken ribs for several weeks and giving him the night off on Tuesday as a result.