Friday 15 November 2019

Football gaffes: The trouble with Twitter

Mark Staniforth

ASHLEY Cole may have proved himself the leading exponent in the art of getting into trouble in 140 characters or less, but he is far from the first in his profession to have come a cropper on social media.


Dutch striker Babel, then with Liverpool, became the first player to be sanctioned for misuse of the social networking site in January 2011, when he was fined £10,000 by the Football Association for posting a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt.


Barton took a break from posting Nietzsche quotes to accuse Manchester City's Carlos Tevez of deliberately conspiring to get him sent off in the final game of last season at the Etihad Stadium. Barton was banned for 12 matches, although the suspension related to his on-field misconduct.


Frimpong incurred the FA's wrath in August following a brief online exchange with a Tottenham fan and his use of a word deemed derogatory by the authorities, who issued the player with a £6,000 fine for improper conduct.


The perils of posting on the social networking site are perhaps best exemplified by Wilshere, whose relatively harmless tweet about betting on team-mate Frimpong to score (even though no bet was placed) let to a stern reprimand from football's European governing body UEFA as it contravened strict betting rules.


The former Manchester United man was fined £15,000 in August after admitting using an insulting word in relation to a person's sexual orientation. Ravel Morrison and Nile Ranger also received fines for separate, but similar offences.


Bent, then with Tottenham, blasted Spurs chairman Daniel Levy as he found himself being touted around rival clubs. 'Do I wanna go Hull City NO. Do I wanna go stoke NO do I wanna go sunderland YES so stop f****** around, Levy', he said. Bent was heavily fined by the club for his actions.


Ferdinand was fined £45,000 by the FA for improper conduct after re-tweeting an earlier post which described Ashley Cole as a 'choc ice', - a slang term meant to describe someone who is black on the outside but white on the inside, after Cole gave evidence on behalf of John Terry in the racial abuse case which involved Ferdinand's brother Anton.


Cole was fined £20,000 in April 2011 for an inappropriate tweet sent when during England were playing Ghana in a friendly at Wembley.


Szczesny was forced to make a grovelling apology in January after an ill-conceived Twitter posting in which he responded to team-mate Aaron Ramsey, who had posted a picture of himself attending a golf event, by joking the Welshman looked 'like a rapist'.


Millwall's Alan Dunne was fined £2,000 in February this year for re-tweeting critical comments about referee Jon Moss following his side's 6-0 defeat to Birmingham, in which he was sent off.

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