Leigh Griffiths has been cited by Uefa for “provoking” Linfield supporters at the conclusion of last week’s Champions League qualifier.
While arguably provoked himself by the home fans in this instance, one of whom threw a glass bottle, Griffiths is no stranger to controversy in his football career.
Swearing at fans
The striker’s initial spell at Hibs, who he twice joined from Wolves on loan, saw a rather bizarre penchant for swearing at fans. Griffiths was banned by the SFA on three separate occasions, once for gesturing to Rangers fans during a match at Easter Road, and twice for doing so towards his own support in a cup game against Cowdenbeath and league defeat to Dunfermline.
The striker faced a police charge back in 2013 for an alleged racist comment made on social media. Griffiths, on loan at Hibs from Wolves at the time, told Zak Iqbal of Livingston to go “back to your own country” before later apologising for the comment. Though he was charged, it took a full four years for the Crown Prosecution to drop the case, citing a lack of evidence.
Griffiths was stopped while attempting to leave a Tesco store by a security guard who thought he was trying to steal a bottle of water and Lucozade. He was later found not guilty of the charge, and of assaulting the security guard, but pleaded guilty to breach of the peace after shouting and swearing at staff.
Rudi Skacel song
In 2015, after signing for Celtic, Griffiths was given a suspended two-match ban and fined £2,500 by the SFA for singing an offensive song about Hearts hero Rudi Skacel. The incident took place in a pub near Tynecastle where Griffiths was in attendance with other Hibs fans before an Edinburgh derby. The singing was captured on video and shared on social media.