SFL clubs free to break embargo

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The Independent Online

Bell'S Scottish Football League clubs have been granted permission from Fifa to sign players outside of the transfer window.

Bell'S Scottish Football League clubs have been granted permission from Fifa to sign players outside of the transfer window.

The Scottish Football Association and the SFL had lobbied on behalf of smaller clubs, who were finding life difficult under the current ruling. Now though, if clubs in the lower leagues become short of squad members through injuries, they can recruit from within Scotland outside of the transfer window.

But the current embargo on movement of players will still exist for Bank of Scotland Premier League clubs.

An SFA statement said: "Scottish clubs outside the Premier League have today been given the go-ahead to sign players outside the transfer window, after the Scottish FA lobbied Fifa for permission.

"After asking Fifa for a partial exemption to the closed transfer period, the SFA was advised today that Fifa has agreed to the request that all clubs below Scottish Premier League level be allowed two "joker" registrations within each period.

"This takes place with immediate effect, and means that each club can now register a total of four players over the course of this season during the closed transfer periods.

"This derogation does not apply to Scottish Premier League clubs, although an SPL club can transfer players to Scottish Football League clubs and below during the closed periods."

Meanwhile, the Hibernian goalkeeper Alistair Brown has been called up to the Scotland Under-21s for next month's European Championship double header with Norway and Moldova. The 18-year-old is the only new addition to a squad that began its qualifying campaign with a 1-1 draw against Slovenia earlier in the month.

He replaces Kilmarnock goalkeeper Craig Samson, who has paid the price for breaking a curfew and being arrested for a public order offence before the Slovenia game.

The Under-21 coach Rainer Bonhof will be without Aberdeen defender Alexander Diamond, Rangers right-back Alan Hutton and Celtic striker Craig Beattie because of injury as his team takes on Norway at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld on 8 October and Moldova in Chisinau on 12 October.

Brown's Easter Road team-mate and namesake Scott Brown could yet join the absentee list, however, as he is currently awaiting the results of scans carried out yesterday on an injured left ankle.

Other Hibees Garry O'Connor, Derek Riordan and Steven Whittaker were also named in Bonhof's squad.

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