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Dublin: 4°C Wednesday 25 November 2020

'I am off work due to my mental health state': Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths clarifies absence

The Scotland international has taken a step away from football to address issues in his personal life.

Celtic forward Leigh Griffiths.
Celtic forward Leigh Griffiths.
Image: Jeff Holmes

CELTIC STRIKER LEIGH Griffiths has clarified the reasons behind his decision to step away from football for a temporary period, explaining that his absence was to take time to address his mental health.

The Scotland international has not featured for Celtic since December, last month thanking the club’s fans for their ongoing support during his absence from the side.

On Sunday the 28-year-old issued a statement seeking to clarify the reasons behind his decision to take a step back, stating that it was not due to gambling or drug-related issues, which he said have been wrongly speculated in the media.

The player last month said he hoped to come back stronger, with Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers confirming that the club would be giving their player all the support he needed.

“I am off work due to my mental health state. NOT GAMBLING, DRUGS, or any other issue that has been written about me since December,” Griffiths posted on Twitter on Sunday morning.

“The stories, the tweets, the lies that come out people’s mouth is laughable, but I suppose if they’re talking about me, they are leaving someone else alone.

He continued: “If anyone would like to come forward with real evidence that suggests I’m off with the above mentioned either from my employers, or anyone else, let’s see it.

“I’m putting this out there now because family and friends are being asked questions and they’ve been told to say nothing.

“But I’ll not be silenced, especially by newspapers and idiots who can write tweets and make up stories and it grows arms and legs due to people’s sad and pathetic lives.”

Griffiths joined Celtic in 2014 and has scored 75 goals in 128 appearances for the club, winning five consecutive Scottish Premiership titles and three Scottish Cups.

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