Lothian and Borders Police are set to investigate allegations that Hibernian on-loan striker made a racist remark via his personal twitter account.
The 22-year-old who is on loan from English championship side Wolverhampton, told a man to ‘F**k off back to your own country ya clown’ during a heated exchange online through the social network site Twitter.
The Scotland internationalist, posted the offending tweet on Thursday night, but has since then removed them from his twitter page and has locked his account.
The Police force that covers Edinburgh and the surrounding region, have confirmed that they are aware of the striker’s comments and are in the early stages of their investigation.
A Police spokesman said: “We have been made aware of this matter, and we are carrying out initial enquiries.”
A Hibs spokesperson confirmed that the club will be taking internal disciplinary action against the player.
He said: “Hibernian FC today confirmed that it had spoken to player Leigh Griffiths about exchanges on a social media website. The player had realised that despite the provocation, the language he used was totally unacceptable and had already apologised for what he said. The player has closed access to the account.
“The player supports the club and the whole of Scottish football in its stance against racism, bigotry and anti-social behaviour. The player will be subject to a disciplinary process which will be a private matter between the club and the player.”
Meanwhile Griffiths’ parent club, Wolverhampton released their own statement earlier in the day, a spokesperson added: “Wolves are aware of an alleged racist comment made on Twitter last night by Leigh Griffiths. The club condemns such comments in the strongest possible terms and are extremely angry and disappointed.
“The player is currently on loan at Hibernian FC and is likely to remain there for the rest of the season. He is, therefore, subject to the disciplinary procedures of Hibernian FC and those of the Scottish Football Association. However, Wolves are in dialogue with Hibernian and are making their feelings known on the matter.”
Some commentators and pundits have slammed Hibernian’s decision to keep the disciplinary proceedings in-house, rather asking why it should not be made public.
It is another incident which revolves around racist behavior from professional footballers, with the English game being rocked by comments made by Luis Suarez and John Terry, with the latter being punished internally by Chelsea – which received widespread criticism.
Griffiths’ Wolves deal expires at the end of the season, despite having the option to extend his contract a further year, the striker looks to have scuppered the faint hope of him extending his stay at Molineaux, while it is not known yet if Hibs will end his loan spell at Easter Road – despite the goal threat he provides Pat Fenlon’s side.
The striker later insisted he was not a racist and apologised for his comment.
We want your views on this issue. Should Griffith be hauled in front of the Scottish FA over his remarks and punished accordingly? Should Hibs publicise the punishment the striker receives? Has he burnt his bridges south of the border? Should footballers be treated the same way as fans who resort to such behaviour? What say you?
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