Scottish FA hands six-game bans to Rangers players who breached COVID-19 rules

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(Reuters) - Five Rangers players who breached COVID-19 rules by attending a party last month have been banned for six matches, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) said on Tuesday.

Midfielder Bongani Zungu and defenders Nathan Patterson and Calvin Bassey apologised to the club's fans on their return to training in February after being removed from the squad following the protocol breach.

The trio, as well as striker Dapo Mebude and goalkeeper Brian Kinnear, who are both out on loan, were ordered to self-isolate for 10 days after local media reported that they had attended a party in Glasgow that was broken up by police.

The SFA said in a statement on Tuesday that the five players would be banned for six games - four matches immediately and two suspended until the end of the 2020-21 season.

The players have been fined by the club, who contacted the Scottish FA and the government over the incident.

It is not the first time Rangers players have been punished over COVID-19 protocol breaches, with winger Jordan Jones and defender George Edmundson each banned for seven games in November after they attended a private gathering.

Earlier this month, Rangers sealed their first league title since 2011.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)