Northern Ireland withdraws player over alleged slur

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (AP) Northern Ireland took Kyle Lafferty out of its squad Friday for Nations League games after a video on social media appeared to show the veteran striker use a sectarian slur against Celtic.

The Northern Irish soccer federation said it was "aware of a social media video" circulating which it noted Lafferty's Scottish club Kilmarnock was investigating.

Kilmarnock previously said it "finds all forms of discriminatory behavior completely unacceptable."

The video showed the 35-year-old Lafferty appearing to pose for a photo with a fan who then expressed support for Celtic, which traditionally is supported by fans of Catholic faith.

Lafferty, who played for Celtic's city rival Rangers in two spells, was then heard using an expletive and derogatory term for Catholics and Irish nationalists.

Northern Ireland hosts Kosovo on Saturday and plays at Greece on Tuesday.

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Updated September 23, 2022

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