The matter of players departing Rangers in the wake of its financial meltdown has been submitted to FIFA. Lawyer Margaret Gribbon, who represents seven players including several
who have joined other clubs, hopes the worldwide governing body can issue such a ruling quickly. The Scottish Football Association (SFA) has refused to release international transfer certificates for
the players, without which they cannot play for another team.
"Following the refusal of the SFA to issue players registrations, the new clubs have all referred the matter to FIFA," Gribbon told the Press Association. "FIFA have now written to the SFA in each case requesting reasons why the players' registrations were blocked."
Kyle Lafferty opted not to join the reformed Rangers after the club was forced into liquidation. The Northern Ireland international has since joined Swiss club Sion but has been barred from playing. Steven Naismith's transfer to Everton similarly hangs in the balance, as does Steven Davis' move to Southampton. With the start of preseason training in Europe about two dozen first-team Rangers players need a resolution as quickly as possible.
Rangers is owned by a consortium fronted by Charles Green. The club believes the players have breached their contracts but the Scottish players' union has declared them free agents. Most of them took severe pay cuts in March so the club would have enough money to finish out the Scottish Premier League season. Rangers has since been demoted to the lowest tier of professional play by the 30 members of the Scottish League.