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South Africa U20
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Italy U20
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4:30 PM UTC
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7:30 PM UTC
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Eintracht Frankfurt
Borussia Dortmund
6:00 PM UTC
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7:00 PM UTC
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Four-goal Faris dreams of AFC Cup final


South Africa out after Uruguay stalemate

By ESPN Staff

SFA considered life ban for striker Boyd

Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith considered handing Kris Boyd a lifetime Scotland ban after the striker ruled himself out of contention while George Burley is the manager.

However, Smith and his colleagues decided to leave Boyd's future up to the coaching staff despite their unease at his stance.

The Rangers striker revealed his decision on Saturday night after being left on the bench during the goalless World Cup qualifier against Norway.

Smith said: ''We talked about whether that's it when a player decides not to play for his country any longer, rather than the whole thing being about whoever the coach is. We talked about your country being your country and that it shouldn't be based on who you are playing for.

''Although we are not happy with a situation like that, we do feel this is not an administrative matter. This is more of a football matter between the coach and the player.

''If Kris Boyd announced himself available to play for Scotland in the future, it would be the manager's decision whether to pick him.'That includes during George Burley's reign or with subsequent managers. We could impose restrictions on a future coach over who they play, but, at this stage, we don't want to do that.''

Boyd, his club's top scorer for three consecutive seasons, phoned the SFA chief executive with his decision after Burley claimed he still had to prove himself at Ibrox.

The 25-year-old acted in frustration at Burley's reluctance to play him - he was given only 28 minutes of action in the Scotland manager's six matches in charge.

But Smith did not try to persuade him to change is mind - as he feels Scotland are better off without a player who is not fully committed to the cause.

''I didn't try to talk him out of it,'' Smith said. ''I accepted it, as I don't think it is my position to do that. If you are a club manager and you have players who don't want to play, there's no motivation and no commitment, so it is better if those people aren't there.

''You want to turn up and have a squad of people committed. That means they are willing to be part of the set-up whether they are actually in the team or not. It is more detrimental to have people turning up who don't have that commitment. They are the dangerous ones.

''It is easier to deal with the ones who have made it clear they want to stay at home.''


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