Sunderland Football Club has apologised for a controversial social media post about new signing Kyle Lafferty, which referred to Loyalist flute bands.
The League One side recently took to Twitter to announce they had signed the former Rangers star until the end of the season, posting photos of the 32-year-old Northern Ireland striker along with the caption, ‘He’s seven foot and plays the flute’.
The line comes from a terrace chant sung by Rangers fans, which references Loyalist flute bands. However, Sunderland claim the tweet, which has since been deleted, was an innocent mistake.
“It was written in all innocence by someone unaware of how it could be interpreted,” a Sunderland spokesperson told The Daily Record. “As soon as it was pointed out, the tweet was deleted.”
Controversy surrounding Loyalist flute bands has increased over the last few years, with allegations of sectarian abuse and disorder being made against some of the bands that take part in contentious Orange Walks.
This weekend’s FA Cup fourth round fixtures
Friday 24th January
Northampton Town v Derby County – 8:00pm
Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday – 8:00pm
Saturday 25th January
Brentford v Leicester City – 12:45pm
Burnley v Norwich City – 3:00pm
Coventry City v Birmingham City – 3:00pm
Millwall v Sheffield United – 3:00pm
Newcastle United v Oxford United – 3:00pm
Portsmouth v Barnsley – 3:00pm
Reading v Cardiff City – 3:00pm
Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur – 3:00pm
West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion – 3:00pm
Hull City v Chelsea – 5:30pm
Sunday 26th January
Manchester City v Fulham – 1:00pm
Tranmere Rovers v Manchester United – 3:00pm
Shrewsbury Town v Liverpool – 5:00pm
Monday 27th January
AFC Bournemouth v Arsenal – 8:00pm
Picture: Kyle Lafferty during his time at Rangers. (Jeff Holmes/PA).