Kyle Lafferty Giving Ten Match Ban Over Sectarian Comments
Former Clarets and current Kilmarnock striker Kyle Lafferty has been banned for ten matches by the Scottish Football Association over a sectarian comment made to a fan. Lafferty was filmed making the comment whilst posing for a photograph in a nightclub.
The Northern Ireland forward will now not play until Kilmarnock’s League Cup semi-final against Celtic in January 2023. The Scottish Football Association recently changed its disciplinary rules around offensive behaviour, permitting stiffer penalties on those found guilty. The use of insulting language which includes reference to the likes of ethnic origin, race, nationality, religion or belief carries a minimum 10-game ban that can only be reduced ‘where exceptional circumstances are established’.
Kilmarnock have already ‘substantially’ fined the former Rangers and Hearts forward for the incident and the club’s manager Derek McInnes expected the clubs striker to receive a lengthy suspension. Speaking about the incident Derek McInnes said, “He’s made a mistake, he’s put his hands up which was what we needed from him,” he said earlier this month. What he said was unacceptable and he has to take the consequences. Ultimately, we have as well.”
Lafferty has committed to work with Scotland’s leading anti-sectarian charity, Nil By Mouth, which provides education and training developed to tackle sectarianism in society. “I want to deeply apologise to the club, supporters and my family for the distress caused, I totally acknowledge that my reaction to the incident was completely out of order. There is no excuse, it’s something that I immediately regretted and have been embarrassed about it ever since. I absolutely accept that I should not have responded to provocation in the manner.
I placed myself in a position that has been very difficult to deal with,” said Lafferty, who has 85 caps but was left out of the Northern Ireland squad for September’s Nations League fixtures against Kosovo and Greece. I’m now determined to work with Nil By Mouth to ensure that others, particularly the youngsters at the club, learn from my mistake and avoid putting themselves in any type of similar situation in the future.”