The Kilmarnock striker, formerly of Burnley and Rangers, has been pulled from Northern Ireland’s squad for UEFA Nations League matches after a video emerged showing him committing sectarian strife.
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Kyle Lafferty has been left out of Northern Ireland’s squad for their Nations League matches against Kosovo and Greece after a video appeared to show the Kilmarnock striker using sectarian language.
The video, which has surfaced on social media, shows Lafferty’s reaction when a man posing for a photo with him said “Up the Celts”.
A statement from the Irish Football Association read: “Northern Ireland’s first-team player Kyle Lafferty has been withdrawn from the squad ahead of the upcoming Nations League matches against Kosovo and Greece. The Football Association of Ireland has learned of a video clip on social media circulating on The association also notes that an investigation has been opened into the video by the striker’s club Kilmarnock FC.”
Lafferty, who has scored 20 goals in 89 appearances for Northern Ireland, is his country’s second-best scorer, but the 35-year-old has been in and out of Ian Baraklough’s squad in the final windows and may now face a battle to return to the team. international ranks.
Northern Ireland will face Kosovo at Windsor Park on Saturday before traveling to Athens for Tuesday’s game against Greece. Lafferty hasn’t trained since Tuesday due to a back complaint.
The video first surfaced on Wednesday evening, with club Lafferty Kilmarnock announcing on Thursday lunchtime that an investigation had been opened into the incident.
A Kilmarnock statement said: “Kilmarnock FC is aware of a video circulating online that appears to show a member of our playing team using language of a sectarian nature.
The club considers all forms of discriminatory behavior completely unacceptable. The matter will be investigated by the club.”
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