Babel charged by FA over Twitter postings

AP, Monday 10 Jan 2011

Liverpool winger Ryan Babel became the first player to be charged with improper conduct by England's Football Association over a Twitter posting on Monday

Ryan Babel

Babel posted a digitally altered picture of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt after being angered by his decisions in Liverpool's FA Cup loss on Sunday.

Babel also wrote on Twitter: "And they call him one of the best referees. That's a joke." The Netherlands winger has until 4 p.m. on Thursday to respond to the charge. He could receive a fine or ban from the FA.

"The charge relates to comments and images published by the player on Twitter concerning referee Howard Webb," the FA said in a statement.

While Babel has since deleted his comments about Webb and the link to the manipulated picture, the image is still visible on the uploading service he uses.

In Liverpool's 1-0 loss, Webb ruled that defender Daniel Agger fouled United striker Dimitar Berbatov 30 seconds into the third-round match and Ryan Giggs scored the ensuing spot kick.

Webb also sent off Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard for a challenge on Michael Carrick in the 32nd minute.

As Babel's messages spread on Sunday night, he tried to limit the damage.

"Sorry Howard Webb!" he tweeted. "My apology if they take my posted pic seriously. This is just a emotional reaction after losing an important game." Liverpool's Kenny Dalglish is the only Premier League manager to have a Twitter account, and the Scot had earlier urged the FA to not take any action against Babel.

"Maybe I've been out of the game too long, but let's see if they can find a sense of humor," said Dalglish, whose first stint as Liverpool manager ended in 1991. "He apologized straight away." "I don't think he's clever enough technically to have drawn that up himself." Babel's use of Twitter has got him into trouble before. He was fined two weeks' wages in January last year after complaining on the social networking site about being dropped by then-Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.

Search Keywords:
Short link: