A non-league footballer has been banned from all football activity until August as a result of several offensive tweets sent to Bournemouth and Ireland midfielder Harry Arter, reports BBC Sport.
Former Hitchin Town player Alfie Barker received the seven-month suspension from the FA on Monday, though with one month technically already served, he would be free to resume his football career on the 1st of August.
The 18-year-old accepted the charge of misconduct last week, conceding that he would accept any punishment that came his way following the incident.
The tweets in question were sent to Arter after Bournemouth’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal in January, and were of a taunting nature in relation to the loss of Arter’s daughter in December 2015:
I hope he never plays football again. The crying with laughter faces just make it worse. What a vile excuse for a human Alfie Barker is. pic.twitter.com/DQYNXmjyew
— Olé (@Ole_LFC) January 4, 2017
Barker deleted the messages and issued an apology to Arter, but by then the damage was done.
A barrage of abuse later forced Barker to delete his Twitter account, and he was sacked by Hitchin soon after. Arter’s club Bournemouth reported the offensive messages to the FA, who in turn charged Barker with misconduct.
As well as receiving the suspension, Barker was also handed a £250 fine and warned as to his future conduct. After this, however, he will be lucky to find a club willing to take chance on him.