Soccer-Rangers appeal bans for five players who breached COVID-19 rules

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(Reuters) - Scottish Premiership club Rangers have appealed against six-match bans for five of their players who breached coronavirus rules by attending a party in February, the Scottish Football Association (SFA) said on Friday.

Midfielder Bongani Zungu and defenders Nathan Patterson and Calvin Bassey apologised to Rangers' fans on their return to training after being removed from the squad over 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 media said they had attended a party in Glasgow that was broken up by police.

On Tuesday, the SFA banned the five players for six games - four immediately and two suspended until the end of the 2020-21 season.

"Determinations being appealed," the Scottish FA said in a statement https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/scottish-fa/football-governance/disciplinary/disciplinary-updates. "Appeals hearing date to be confirmed."

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

Last month, Rangers sealed their first league title since 2011.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru)