BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
NEIL LENNON has accused the Scottish FA of endangering the well-being of highly-rated defender Ryan Porteous by fielding him at the Toulon Tournament despite knowing he was injured.
In an astonishing blast at the governing body, Lennon claims a scan showed that Porteous had suffered a slight tear to the cartilage in his knee in the aftermath of their second fixture against France.
Boss Scot Gemmill fielded the 20-year-old in subsequent games against South Korea and eventual winners England, but he sat out the third-place playoff against Turkey.
And Lennon is adamant the Scottish FA failed in their duty of care to the player and displayed a disrespect to one of their member clubs by opting not to contact Hibs regarding Porteous’ situation.
The Scottish FA, in a response issued to Capital City Press last night, vehemently denied fielding Porteous while unfit and stated that Scotland medical professionals have been in constant dialogue with their Easter Road counter-parts.
Lennon fumed: “I’m not happy with the way Ryan has been treated and I’m not happy with the way the club has been treated, because I have had no communication from them [Scottish FA].
“I’ve asked for a report from their medical team explaining why he was played in the two games after scans showed that he had a tear in his cartilage. I’ve not even had a courtesy call.
“I’ve not seen him on the training ground since mid-May because of that. I didn’t find any of this out until we came back to training on June 18. I got nothing from the SFA, not one call or email or anything. You would expect that.
“He’s missed the whole of pre-season and our build-up to this game. He may be fit for next week but this is unacceptable in my view. Not only could he have done a lot of damage, it may have forced me to go out and buy a player on the back of it.
“I’m all for them going to play for their country but they need to be looked after the right way. I don’t think that’s been the case.”
A Scottish FA spokesperson responded: “It goes without saying that we want to return every player who represents Scotland back to their club in the best possible condition.
“We employ very experienced medical staff who provide the highest level of care to the players to the standards expected by their profession and the medical bodies. Importantly, we only select players who we feel are fit to play.
“It wouldn’t be right for us to divulge any personal medical information about Ryan, or indeed any other player. But we can say that in this instance, we were in contact with Hibernian continuously throughout, and after, the tournament via our medical team and their counterparts at the club. This is standard practice at international level.
“All of our medical notes and information have been shared with the club and we will continue our dialogue with them directly in relation to Ryan and any other Hibernian players who are on Scotland duty in the future.”