Celtic to investigate Leigh Griffiths’ conduct
CELTIC have launched an internal investigation into Leigh Griffiths’ behaviour before last weekend’s Edinburgh derby after police began making enquiries into allegations of “racist chanting” by the striker.
Celtic last week fined the former Hibernian striker after footage showed him singing “Hearts are going bust” in a pub before attending the Leith side’s 2-0 defeat at Tynecastle.
But new footage emerged on Sunday which appears to show the Hoops forward singing and dancing as Hibs fans sing a derogatory song about former Hearts player Rudi Skacel.
A Celtic statement on Monday read: “Due to an ongoing police investigation we are unable to comment. However, the club takes the allegations extremely seriously and have launched our own internal investigation.”
Police Scotland confirmed on Sunday evening that it was investigating the incident.
A spokeswoman said: “Following an article in a Sunday newspaper alleging racist chanting by a 23-year-old Scottish Premier League footballer, inquiries are being initiated by Police Scotland.”
The boyhood Hibs fan, who was filmed in Edinburgh’s Roseburn Bar before attending the game, was already facing Scottish Football Association disciplinary action over the initial footage.
He was accused of acting against the best interests of the game by “singing in public about Heart of Midlothian FC in administration”. A principal hearing has been set for April 24.
However, SFA compliance officer Vincent Lunny has also been studying the fresh footage. He could issue a second notice of complaint to the Scotland striker but, more likely, the charge will be re-issued taking into account the new footage, which would make it a more serious matter.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon last week warned Griffiths, who joined the Scottish Premiership champions from Wolves in January, that the transgression was “his one strike”.
The Celtic boss added: “I don’t want him doing any more - otherwise his career at Celtic won’t be as long as he maybe wants it to be.”
Lennon has previously warned his players that he has a “zero tolerance rule” over racism.
Speaking in October 2012, he said: ‘’Any sign of any sort of racism against colour, religion, background will be an instant sackable offence.”
In 2005, former Hibernian forward Derek Riordan was fined by the Easter Road club and apologised to Czech midfielder Skacel after he was filmed singing the same song in a pub with other fans.
Skacel is currently without a club after a return to administration-hit Hearts was vetoed by the Scottish Professional Football League.