Michael O'Neill: Kyle Lafferty has my full support in bid to battle gambling addiction

Kyle Lafferty and Michael O'Neill
Kyle Lafferty and Michael O'Neill

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has given Kyle Lafferty his full support after it emerged today that the Hearts striker has a gambling addiction.

O'Neill said the Tynecastle and Windsor Park favourite has his backing as he bids to battle the condition.

Lafferty in action for Hearts

Lafferty in action for Hearts

MORE: Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty admits gambling addiction
Lafferty, who recently turned 30, gave a candid interview to BBC Scotland admitting he has a problem with betting. He said he now intends to confront the issue for the sake of his wife and his extended family.

He credited national team boss O’Neill and Hearts and Northern Ireland coach Austin MacPhee for providing support. He also thanked Hearts owner Ann Budge and manager Craig Levein for backing him.

In a statement issued by the Irish Football Association this afternoon, O'Neill said: "I admire Kyle for speaking so openly and honestly about his battle with gambling. We have talked about it at length and I have assured him that he has the full support of me, my staff and everyone at the Irish Football Association as he aims to overcome this addiction."