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Northern Ireland cut off Lafferty over alleged suspension

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A statement from the Football Association of Ireland read: “Northern Ireland’s senior player, Kyle Lafferty, has been withdrawn from the squad ahead of the upcoming Nations League matches against Kosovo and Greece.

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“The Football Association of Ireland is aware of a video on social media that has been widely circulated. The FA also notes that an investigation has been opened into the video by striker Kilmarnock FC.”

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The 35-year-old has been in and out of Ian Baraklough’s side in the last windows and may now face a battle to return to the 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.

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A Kilmarnock statement read: “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 that all forms of discriminatory behavior are totally unacceptable. The matter will be investigated by the club.”

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