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Footballer Lafferty charged by the FA over allegation he placed bet on game

By David Young

Northern Ireland football hero Kyle Lafferty has been charged by the English Football Association with misconduct in relation to betting on a football match.

The FA said it is alleged that on February 20, 2016, the Norwich City striker placed a bet on the result, progress, conduct or any other aspect of, or occurrence in, a football match or competition in breach of FA rules.

The rule also covers the transfer of players, employment of managers, team selection or disciplinary matters.

A worldwide ban came into force in August 2014 preventing footballers at professional level from gambling on the game.

Lafferty (28) has not played for Norwich since January, and was on loan to Birmingham City at the end of the season, making six appearances and scoring once for the Midlands club.

He played for Northern Ireland at the Euros and was the team's top scorer for the qualification campaign with seven goals.

Norwich City yesterday declined to comment on the betting allegations.

Fermanagh-born Lafferty appeared to fall out of favour at Norwich last season, and the striker was expected to move to another club this summer.

He made just three appearances for Norwich last season, and after being linked with a move to Leeds among other clubs, joined Birmingham City on loan in March. The former Burnley forward started in two of Northern Ireland's matches at the Euro 2016 finals in France in June, and stepped off the bench in another as Michael O'Neill's side reached the knockout stages of the tournament.

Earlier this year, the former Glasgow Rangers player married glamorous Scots model Vanessa Chung.

After a whirlwind romance which saw them get engaged just seven months after they met, Kyle and Vanessa married in May in front of 140 close family and friends, before enjoying a beautiful reception in the surroundings of the luxury Gleneagles Hotel.

The newlyweds honeymooned in the Pacific paradise island of Bora Bora.

Lafferty started his career at Burnley and made more than 80 appearances before Rangers paid £3m for him in June 2008.

He spent four years at Glasgow Rangers, scoring 38 goals, and had spells at FC Sion and Palermo before joining Norwich City for an undisclosed fee in June 2014. He also spent time on loan with Turkish club Rizespor.

Lafferty has until August 5 to respond to the Football Association charge.

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