Burley hits out at Baird ban
By Andrew Scurr
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
George Burley has slammed the decision to ban Chris Baird from playing against Wolves.
George Burley has slammed the Irish Football Association's decision to ban Chris Baird from playing against Wolves.
The Southampton defender missed the 6-0 victory at Molineux after the IFA invoked a rule which stopped Baird from featuring.
The five-day rule prevents players from playing for their clubs if they have not reported for international duty.
Baird sat out Northern Ireland's Euro 2008 qualifiers because of a groin strain, but the IFA continued their policy of banning absent players.
Saints boss Burley has hit out at the Irish FA for invoking the rule, with Baird fit to face Wolves last weekend.
"We were totally open to anything they wanted in terms of the injury, he would have reported if they had wanted to look at him," Burley told the club's official website.
"It's totally unfair to the club, and to the boy who was devastated he couldn't play against Sweden, and to be kicked in teeth again because they've not allowed him to play is staggering.
"Darren Bent played for Charlton when he didn't play for England.
"The FA have backed us and we could have played Chris but then there could have been a process through Fifa and we couldn't have done that because we could have been deducted points."