Scottish Football Association chief executive Gordon Smith has refused to rule out a U-turn over the decision to ban Barry Ferguson and Allan McGregor from representing Scotland ever again.

Ferguson and McGregor were hit with lifetime suspensions from international football for their behaviour after the Rangers pair had been caught indulging in an early-hours drinking session following Scotland's 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifying defeat in Holland two weeks ago.

They then reacted to being dropped to the bench for last Wednesday's clash with Iceland by apparently flicking V-signs at photographers during the victory at Hampden Park.

As well as being punished by the SFA, the players were also suspended by Rangers for two weeks without pay, while Ferguson was stripped of the captaincy. But Smith, speaking during a break at an SFA board meeting on Thursday, repeatedly refused to confirm they would never play for their country again.

"I can't answer that because that's something that's going to have to be looked at in the future," Smith said. "But the statement that came out last Friday was quite clear that, at the moment, they will not be chosen."

It is unlikely Ferguson and McGregor will be selected again while George Burley remains Scotland manager. However, his position is by no means secure, with the team facing an uphill struggle to qualify for next year's finals in South Africa.

Smith was speaking as he and SFA vice-president Campbell Ogilvie confirmed that after hearing from Burley, the board had decided there would be no further action taken over the events which led to Ferguson and McGregor being punished.