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Kyle Lafferty: Striker could face minimum 10-game ban over alleged use of sectarian language | Kilmarnock hand out 'substantial' fine

The SFA have charged Kyle Lafferty; Kilmarnock have handed striker a 'substantial' fine; he was under investigation by club after video appeared online where it is alleged he used sectarian language; Lafferty unlikely to play against Aberdeen; he was withdrawn from Northern Ireland duty

Kyle Lafferty is in his second spell at Kilmarnock
Image: Kyle Lafferty has been handed a 'substantial' fine by Kilmarnock

The Scottish FA have charged Kyle Lafferty over the alleged use of sectarian language, while his club Kilmarnock have handed the striker a 'substantial' fine.

It's after a video, which has appeared on social media, shows the striker reacting to a man - who was posing for a photo with him - says "Up the Celts".

The SFA notice of complaint says he allegedly breached disciplinary rules 77 and 81, with the latter carrying a minimum 10-game ban.

If found guilty at the hearing - scheduled for October 20 - Lafferty would be out of action until January 14, 2023 at the earliest when Kilmarnock face Rangers.

Disciplinary Rule allegedly breached: Disciplinary Rules 77 and 81.

77 - A recognised football body, club, official, Team Official, other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall, at all times, act in the best interests of Association Football. Furthermore such person or body shall not act in any manner which is improper or use any one, or a combination of, violent Conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour.

81 - No recognised football body, club, official, Team Official, other member of Team Staff, player, match official or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall (i) use offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or actions which include(s) a reference, whether express or implied, to any one or more of the following :- ethnic religion, colour, race, nationality, religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation or disability or (ii) carry out any act of victimisation (as defined in Equality Act 2010) or any act of discrimination by reason of ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, disability, age, pregnancy, maternity, marital status or civil partnership, unless otherwise permitted by law and the rules and regulations of the Scottish FA.

The 35-year-old former Rangers and Hearts striker was also axed from the Northern Ireland squad for their UEFA Nations League fixtures against Kosovo and Greece.

Kilmarnock conclude investigation

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Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes is uncertain if Kyle Lafferty will feature against Aberdeen as an investigation continues into the striker's alleged use of sectarian language

Kilmarnock have concluded their investigation regarding Lafferty's actions.

The club have issued Lafferty with a 'substantial' fine and they have also engaged with Scotland's leading anti-sectarian charity Nil By Mouth, who will work with Lafferty on a one-to-one basis, and deliver training to others at the club.

It is said Lafferty also "regrets his actions and acknowledges he has let down himself, his family, the club and the supporters".

Lafferty has also committed to supporting various community club projects and kilmarnock's 'football for all' programme on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future.

Kilmarnock's statement in full...

Kilmarnock Football Club has concluded its investigation into an alleged comment made by Kyle Lafferty which was circulated across social media via a video recording on Thursday, 22 September.

The club can confirm that Kyle regrets his actions and acknowledges that he has let down himself, his family, the club and the supporters.

Kilmarnock Football Club has subsequently taken internal action, including the serving of a substantial fine. The club has also engaged Scotland’s leading anti-sectarian charity, Nil By Mouth, which will work closely with Kyle on a one-to-one basis, in addition to delivering training to our first team squad and academy squad members, to provide education which the charity believes is key to tackling Sectarianism in society.

Kyle has also committed to supporting the club’s community projects which will see him participating in Nil by Mouth’s educational initiatives, in addition to serving Kilmarnock’s ‘Football for All’ programmes on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future.

A Notice of Complaint has now been served and received by the club from the Compliance Officer at the Scottish FA with regards to the player, Kyle Lafferty. This hearing will be heard on Thursday, 20 October 2022. The club will now focus on fully cooperating with the Scottish FA’s investigation.

Kilmarnock Football Club would like to thank Nil By Mouth for their ongoing support in this matter.

Lafferty unlikely to face Aberdeen

Lafferty looks unlikely to feature in Saturday's Scottish Premiership fixture at Aberdeen while the investigation continues.

When asked if the striker would be in the squad, manager Derek McInnes said: "I can't say for certain on that for the moment. We are in consultation with the SFA and we will be directed on (by) them.

"It is better in all these types of matters, any discipline matters it is always better to get clarity as soon as possible, equally it is important that everybody does their due diligence and does their investigation.

"We started that last week and we just need to wait to see the outcome of it."

Baraclough: Still a route back for Lafferty

Lafferty is currently on international duty with Northern Ireland
Image: Lafferty was withdrawn from the Northern Ireland squad

Northern Ireland manager Ian Baraclough has insisted there is still a route back into international football for Lafferty despite his withdrawal from the team.

He said a back injury had also been considered when the decision was made to withdraw the striker from the squad.

"It's not necessarily the end," Baraclough said. "It will be reported in some quarters as that and it will be sensationalised but I'm there for Kyle."

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