NORTHERN Ireland star, Kyle Lafferty, has been slapped with a 10-game ban after being filmed making a sectarian comment.
The Enniskillen-born striker who currently plays for Scottish Premier League side Kilmarnock was given the ban by the Scottish Football Association (SFA) when footage emerged of Lafferty making the comment after being asked to pose for a picture in a nightclub.
One of the games that the 35-year-old will be banned from is Kilmarnock’s League Cup semi-final against Celtic next January and Lafferty expressed contrition for what he did.
“I want to deeply apologise to the club, supporters and my family for the distress caused,” Lafferty said. “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 ever since. I absolutely accept that I should not have responded to provocation in that manner.”
Kilmarnock had already fined Lafferty for the incident with the player committing to work with Scotland’s leading anti-sectarian charity, Nil By Mouth, which provides education and training developed to tackle sectarianism in society.
“I placed myself in a position that has been very difficult to deal with,” said Lafferty, who has 85 caps for the North but was removed from the squad for the recent Kosovo and Greece games when the footage was made public.
“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.”
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