Scotland drop captain and goalie over 'drinks session'

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The Independent Football

Scotland captain Barry Ferguson and goalkeeper Allan McGregor have been dropped from the team to face Iceland in today's World Cup qualifier after reports of a drinking session at the team's hotel base.

Although coach George Burley did not mention the incident at his pre-game news conference yesterday, Scotland officials issued a statement today saying there had been a breach of discipline after the team returned from Saturday's 3-0 defeat to the Netherlands in Amsterdam.

News reports said that Ferguson and McGregor carried on drinking with guests at the Cameron House Hotel near Loch Lomond after the other players had returned to their rooms.

Saturday's defeat left the Scots eight points behind the Dutch and dented their chances of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The team badly must beat Iceland at Hampden Park on Wednesday to maintain its chances of at least a playoff spot.

Ferguson has made 45 appearances for Scotland but only once in the past 14 months because of injuries, while McGregor, his Rangers' teammate, has played only four times.

The goalkeeper is likely to be replaced by Craig Gordon while Stephen McManus hopes to return from an ankle injury and lead the side instead of Ferguson.