Police in Edinburgh say they will look into claims that Hibernian's on-loan striker Leigh Griffiths sent a racist tweet.
The Scotland international allegedly told a man to "f--- off back to your own country ya clown" during an angry online exchange.
The 22-year-old, who is on loan at Hibs from English Championship side Wolves, posted the comment to almost 13,000 followers late on Thursday night and has subsequently been removed from his Twitter page. Now Lothian and Borders Police have confirmed they have carried out early inquiries after they were made aware of Griffiths' alleged comments.
Griffiths was responding to a tweet from a Twitter user believed to be based in Livingston, West Lothian. The user had earlier sent a tweet to Griffiths. It said: "@LeighG29 @jordan_cosgrove thumb boy why do you make fun of other peoples looks when you are the worst out the lot?"
Griffiths later insisted he was not a racist, posting: "Got to apologise to @zak_iqbal for my comment earlier, was out of order!"
On Friday morning, he also wrote: "I'm not a racist! Yes what I said was out of order! People going to give it a rest now?? Jesus Christ."
Griffiths is currently on loan at Easter Road but is due to return to Molineux following the Edinburgh club's game with Dundee on January 19. He has scored 14 goals for Hibs this term and boss Pat Fenlon is keen to keep him for the remainder of the season, but a club spokesman confirmed that Hibs would be taking action against the former Livingston and Dundee forward.
Anti-racism campaigners have called for swift action to be taken against Griffiths. Show Racism the Red Card has dubbed the alleged comments made by the player as "totally unacceptable."
In a statement released on their website, a spokesman said: "Show Racism the Red Card is saddened by Hibernian FC player Leigh Griffiths tweet to one of his followers. We wish to see a Scotland free of racism and must condemn all incidences of racism across social networking sites, in football and wider society."