QPR defender Rio Ferdinand has been suspended for three matches and fined £25,000 for comments he made on Twitter, the Football Association has announced.
The 35-year-old former England captain directed a jibe at a Twitter follower who criticised him last month, containing the word ‘sket’, which the Collins English Dictionary defines as “a promiscuous girl or woman”.
After a Twitter user sent the message “Maybe QPR will sign a good CB (centre-back) they need one”, Ferdinand replied by saying ” get ya mum in, plays the field well son! #sket”. The exchange came on September 1, which was transfer deadline day.
Ferdinand was charged by the FA on October 14, and his punishment was announced on Wednesday.
The FA said in a statement on its website: “Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand has been suspended for three matches commencing with immediate effect, subject to any appeal, after an FA misconduct charge against him was found proven.
“It was alleged a comment Ferdinand posted on his twitter account was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper.
“It was further alleged that this breach was aggravated pursuant to FA rule E3(2) as the comment included a reference to gender.
“Following an independent regulatory commission hearing on Wednesday 29 October, Ferdinand was also fined £25,000, severely warned as to his future conduct and ordered to attend an education programme, arranged by the FA within four months.”
Ferdinand, who made 81 appearances for England, the last in June 2011, is a member of FA chairman Greg Dyke’s commission looking at how to improve English football.
The former Manchester United centre-back was also considered by the FA as a possible candidate for a FIFA vice-president until David Gill, formerly United’s chief executive, opted to stand.
Ferdinand, who has 5.9million followers on Twitter, has sent more than 14,000 tweets on the website and has been a pundit for the BBC and BT Sport.
Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker, who avoided censure from the BBC last month following a series of Tweets in which he used profanities, appeared to express his surprise at the charge facing Ferdinand when it was announced.
Lineker wrote: “Thanks to @rioferdy5 I’ve just learnt a new word. The most surprising aspect of this charge is that the FA knew what a ‘sket’ was.”
Press Association Report.