FA Clamp Down on ‘Improper’ Twitter Use

February 14, 2011

After it was announced last week that the British Olympic Association (BOA) were setting guidelines for Twitter use by athletes during the London 2012 Olympics, the Football Association have followed suit.

A statement was released by the body warning soccer players in England that improper comments will not be tolerated on Twitter or indeed other social networking sites. The decision comes off the back of last month’s fiasco involving the Liverpool player, Ryan Babel. The Dutch international posted a mocked-up image of World Cup final referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt shortly after a game against the Premier League leaders when Webb awarded a controversial penalty to the Red Devils.

The statement released by the FA 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.”

The statement added: “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.”

“Consequently, care should be exercised with regards to the contents of such postings. In addition, we would remind participants that social networking postings could also lead to civil proceedings being brought by affected parties.”