Rangers duo Jordan Jones and George Edmundson are facing suspensions after they were charged by the Scottish Football Association over their alleged illegal weekend party.
The pair were handed fixed penalties by police on Sunday night after they were accused of breaching Covid-19 rules by attending an indoor get-together.
Now they are also in trouble with Hampden disciplinary chief Clare Whyte, who has issued notices of complaints to both players.
Officers called out to break up the bash discovered the Rangers duo and a number of other revellers inside a flat in Glasgow’s west end. Under Scottish Government rules, people in Glasgow are currently prohibited from socialising inside residential properties with those from another household.
Rangers responded to the news by immediately suspending Jones, 26, and Edmundson, 23, while also ordering them both to self-isolate for 14 days.
Boss Steven Gerrard has already told Northern Ireland winger Jones and former Oldham defender Edmundson that they have “badly let down their team-mates and the supporters of the club” with their actions.
And they could now face lengthy bans after they were accused of breaching SFA rules 24 and 77, which cover requirements to comply with SFA rules and the failure to act in the best interests of the game.
A hearing has been set for November 19, and Gerrard hopes he will not have to address Covid-19 responsibilities with the rest of his squad again after issuing a final warning before jetting out to face Benfica.
This week’s incident has overshadowed the build-up to Thursday’s Europa League clash at the Stadium of Light in Lisbon but Gerrard is keen to draw a line under the whole affair.
The former England captain – who refused to discuss Jones and Edmundson’s case directly – said: “I think we have covered the Covid situation on many occasions and you know that. We have been working ever so hard at Rangers to make sure that we are covering all bases and educating all the players.
“So, that was reiterated once more again this morning and we move on and look forward to the game now.”
Both Rangers and Jorge Jesus’ team have started their Group D campaign with back-to-back wins and whoever comes out on top on Thursday night will take a major step towards the knock-out rounds.
Having toppled Benfica’s domestic rivals Porto and Braga last term on their way to the last 16, Gerrard is confident his team can put on a repeat performance in Portugal.
He said: “In terms of our experience last year here in Portugal, we can certainly tap into that experience and try and use that to take confidence from it and use it as belief going into the game.
“But it is a different challenge, a different team. Benfica have started the strongest in terms of the Portuguese teams this season.
“It is a huge challenge, but for sure we are going to have to find a performance that is of the level of Porto and Braga if we have got any chance.
“I think we come into it in confident mood and we have started the season ever so well. We have got the majority of the squad available, fit and well and ready to go.
“Benfica are littered with fantastic players, international players. You’ve got Brazilians, Germans, Portuguese, Belgian and Argentinian internationals.
“They’re littered with superstars that are worth a hell of a lot of money. That just gets the juices flowing even more and make you want to get a result even more.
“The players are looking forward to this game. We’ve started this group stage very well and we want to get even more and build on that with a positive result tomorrow.”
But Gerrard admits he is disappointed his players will have no fans to dazzle when they walk out in front of Benfica’s empty 65,000-seater home.
“I think it’s a big shame,” he said. “All of the players and myself are quite gutted that it’s not going to be a full house at the Stadium of Light because it’s a wonderful place to come play your football.
“We thought there might have been an opportunity to play in front of 5,000 or even 20,000 earlier on in the week.
“But that’s not the case and it’s a shame. I actually feel for the players because we’ve done ever so well getting to this stage in the competition and to come up against a team like Benfica, the players should get to play in front of 67,000 people tomorrow, which would be a top experience for their development.”
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