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Celtic Fans Had A Brilliant Banner Slating Leigh Griffiths' 'Refugee' Chant

Celtic Fans Had A Brilliant Banner Slating Leigh Griffiths' 'Refugee' Chant
By Paul O'Hara

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths found himself the target of rebuke from his own club's fans after being filmed singing a song which is alleged to have been "of an offensive, racist and/or discriminatory nature". He is facing two charges by the SFA of bringing the game into disrepute, as well as a separate police investigation into the matter.

The 23-year-old striker joined the Parkhead side from Wolves in January after a successful loan spell at Easter Road between 2011 and 2013. The lifelong Hibee was fined by Celtic after being recorded in a pub singing "Hearts are going bust", in relation to the financial difficulties of Hibs' Edinburgh rivals.

However, he is facing a more serious charge of bringing the game into disrepute after a similar video showed him singing a song which suggested that former Hearts' striker Rudi Skácel is a "fucking refugee". The SFA probe into the incident has been postponed until the end of the season to allow the police more time to conclude their own investigation.

Since Celtic were founded by Irish people who were essentially seeking refuge from the ravages of the great Famine, it's unsurprising that during their 6-0 victory over Inverness, a large section of their fans unfurled a display which said:

"Refugees welcome - created by immigrants" and "A man must be a Celt on and off the field - otherwise he is of no value to this club".

 

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has fined and warned Griffiths, but refused to acknowledge that the banner was aimed specifically at Griffiths. "I can’t comment on the banner because I wasn’t sure who it was aimed at for a start," he said.

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"If it was aimed at Leigh then we are going through a process at the minute and we will be able to speak more about it when the process finishes.

"We’ve all made mistakes. But I think the kid will come good. I think he’ll learn from it and have a good career here.

Griffiths scored Celtic's fourth and chipped in with two assists in the demolition. Lennon continued: "I don’t know if he was aware the banner was aimed at him. If he did then then we expect those kind of performances from him anyway. I think that’s seven goals in 11 games so he’s doing exactly what we brought him in to do."

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It's not the first time the thumb-lookalike has landed himself in hot water because of comments that can be construed as racist. Last year, Griffiths told Twitter user Zak Iqbal to go "back to your own country".

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