Leigh Griffiths should be banned, claims Astana defender

ASTANA are still angry that Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths will be available for the return leg at Parkhead tomorrow night after an off the ball incident during the first match in Kazakhstan.

Leigh Griffiths is booked after clashing with Igor Shitov. Picture: SNS

Celtic’s leading goalscorer last season was booked after clashing with defender Igor Shitov inside the penalty area.

Referee Paolo Mazzoleni decided that a booking was sufficient punishment, a decision which Astana later questioned as they tried to have the attacker retrospectively red carded.

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The Kazakh club released footage of the incident on their website and Twitter feed but UEFA dismissed the calls because the referee had dealt with the incident on the field.

This has not stopped Russian stopper Shitov from continuing his protests ahead of tomorrow’s crucial encounter.

He said: “Griffiths hit me and what happened should have been a red card. He should be suspended for this match. The referee did not see it properly because he only gave a yellow card.

“Griffiths was very lucky to stay on the pitch and we were unlucky because he scored his goal a few minutes later.”

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