FA announce Twitter crackdown

Liverpool’s Ryan Babel last month became the first player to be

sanctioned for comments made on Twitter when he was fined

£10,000 for posting a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb

wearing a Manchester United shirt. Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere last

week escaped action after complaining of “inconsistent refereeing”

on his Twitter account, and the FA have now made their policy

clear. An FA statement read: “The FA has issued clarification to

participants relating to the use of social networking sites,

including, but not limited to Twitter, Facebook and internet blogs.

“Participants should be aware that comments made on such sites may

be considered public comment, and that further to FA Rule E3, any

comments which are deemed improper, bring the game into disrepute,

or are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting may lead to

disciplinary action. “Comments which are personal in nature or

could be construed as offensive, use foul language or contain

direct or indirect threats aimed at other participants are likely

to be considered improper.” Players have also been warned that even

though they believe their postings are only visible to a limited

number of selected people they may still end up in the public

domain. “Consequently, care should be exercised with regards to the

contents of such postings,” says the statement. “In addition, we

would remind participants that social networking postings could

also lead to civil proceedings being brought by affected parties.”