Rangers Euro opponents Royal Antwerp have been left stunned after it emerged from UEFA that key man Lamkel Ze won’t be eligible to play in the first leg of their tie due to a red card 18 months ago.
The Ibrox men face the Belgian side in a two-legged Last 32 clash later this month with the return leg in Glasgow.
Both clubs submitted their player list for the rest of the competition this week and Antwerp included Cameroon international Ze, who is back in the squad after previously not being included in their Europa League games so far this season after being out of the picture.
He unleashed a remarkable show of anger last month when he was so angry at being refused a transfer to Panathinaikos, he turned up at the club’s training ground wearing the shirt of rivals Anderlecht, leading to him being barred from the club.
Later, a group of Antwerp Ultras twice confronted him when the players were at training to ‘advise’ him about his future conduct and his team mates had to be talked out of going on strike when new manager Frankie Vercauteren put him back into the squad.
Ze scored the winning goal for Antwerp on his first game back and has now been included in the squad to face Rangers.
But he has still to serve a one-game suspension after being sent off in a 4-1 home Europa League defeat to AZ Alkmaar in August, 2019.
And he won’t be available for the first leg against Rangers now in the Bosuilstadion a week on Thursday.