Kilmarnock striker Kyle Lafferty could face a 10-match ban after admitting taking himself and his club down for allegedly using bigoted language.
Lafferty has been fined by the club after video on social media showed the former Rangers and Hearts striker reacting when a man posing for a photo with him said ‘Up the Celts’.
The 35-year-old will face a Scottish Football Association tribunal on October 20. He is accused of failing to act in the best interests of football and breaching a rule prohibiting the use of insulting language which includes references to people such as ethnicity, race, nationality, religion or beliefs.
SFA rules state that the penalty for the latter is a mandatory minimum 10-match ban which can only be reduced “where exceptional circumstances are established”.
Kilmarnock announced that its internal investigation into the incident was concluded shortly after the SFA charges were announced. A statement added: “The club can confirm that Kyle regrets his actions and acknowledges that he has let himself, his family, the club and the supporters down.
“Kilmarnock Football Club subsequently took internal action, including imposing a substantial fine. The club has also engaged Scotland’s leading anti-sectarian charity, Nil By Mouth, who will work closely with Kyle on a one-to-one basis, in addition to providing training to our first team and academy team members, to provide education which the charity believes is key to combating bigotry in society .
“Kyle is also committed to supporting the club’s community projects which will see him participate in Nil by Mouth’s educational initiatives, in addition to serving Kilmarnock’s ‘Football for All’ programs on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future.”
The club added that they would cooperate fully with the SFA’s investigation.
Lafferty was left out of the Northern Ireland squad for their recent Nations League matches against Kosovo and Greece, with manager Ian Baraclough saying a back injury was also considered when the decision was made. was taken. The former Motherwell manager said the incident was not necessarily the end of Lafferty’s international career.
It is unclear whether Lafferty will be in the squad for Kilmarnock’s Premiership game at Aberdeen on Saturday. Club manager Derek McInnes said earlier they would be guided by the SFA’s input but Lafferty could feature if he is fit given he faces some form of suspension after his hearing.
McInnes is looking forward to returning to Pittodrie for the first time since leaving in 2021 after eight years in charge. “I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to everyone, but I appreciate my time there,” he said. “Eight years, nearly 400 games. It was a big part of my life. I worked with a lot of very good players.