(Reuters) - Scottish Premiership champions Rangers have failed in their appeal against six-match bans handed out to five players who breached COVID-19 restrictions by attending a party in February.
Midfielder Bongani Zungu, defenders Nathan Patterson and Calvin Bassey, and striker Dapo Mebude and goalkeeper Brian Kinnear, who are both out on loan, were charged after attending a party in Glasgow that was broken up by police.
They were given six-game bans by the Scottish FA in March, with two suspended until the end of the season.
Rangers appealed the decision and the players were allowed to continue playing while they awaited the outcome. An independent appellate tribunal on Thursday upheld the punishments.
Rangers said the verdict highlighted the inconsistency of decision making in the Scottish FA's disciplinary process.
"We remain disappointed in the result," the club said in a statement. "We are cognisant that the approach taken by other football associations across Europe has no resemblance to that of the Scottish FA.
"We urge the Scottish FA to be open minded to learn from other football authorities."
Rangers, who in March sealed their first league title since 2011, face St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)