FA Warn Players Of Twitter Use: Comments Closely Monitored?

During recent weeks, here at OSM we have reported at numerous times, on footie players tweeting away. Twitter if used in the appropriate fashion is fine such as Rio Ferdinand praising Arsenal’s Nasri or Fabregas with their game play, but its other comments that have been questioned by others. Players such as Jack Wilshere avoiding a fine and warning with his comments against referee Phil Dowd, or Ryan Babel getting into bother with his remarks and subsequent picture towards player Howard Webb, which consequently ended up with him getting charged with improper conduct and a fine of £10,000.

Today, news has come in of the UK Football Association taking a stricter approach to players and the way in which they use not just Twitter but other social networking sites. It’s been said as The Press Association stated, that the FA will be “cracking down” on improper comments used by the celebrity players.

In a recent lengthy statement from the governing body the FA, they said, “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.”

They followed on by saying, “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 important. 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. In addition, we would remind participants that social networking postings could also lead to civil proceedings being brought by affected parties.”

We do have to point out that its not just the game of football with at times its controversial Twitter comments, other sports as the news.bbc.co.uk have pointed out, are cricket with batsman Kevin Pietersen, or the NFL in America. Players there, are restricted from using their Twitter 90 minutes before kick-off and not until post-media hype has been commented. Anyone seen to be breaking this will automatically be fined with $25,000 or converted $15,750.

I have to say I’m all for Twitter if used properly, do you agree? Should the FA begin to follow the guidelines set out in America? I can see the benefits to this particularly after the game, when players comments could be taken the wrong way, at least by waiting until after the “post media” frenzy, there will be no backlash to them. Give us your thoughts.