Players' union chief Gordon Taylor has questioned the Football Association's decision to charge Liverpool's Ryan Babel over his Twitter post on Sunday, suggesting they have "much more serious" issues to focus on such as the assault on Stevenage player Scott Laird.

Holland international Babel was charged with improper conduct after posting a picture and comments about referee Howard Webb on Twitter after Sunday's FA Cup defeat at Manchester United.

He sent out a mocked-up picture of the World Cup final referee wearing a Manchester United shirt and also wrote: "And they call him one of the best referees? That's a joke. SMH (shaking my head)."

Babel, who has yet to respond to the charge, later apologised via his Twitter account.

Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, understands the governing body's response but suggested the FA have "much more serious" issues to contend with such as the pitch invasion after Stevenage beat Newcastle on Saturday, when a fan allegedly assaulted Stevenage's Scott Laird during a celebratory pitch invasion.

Taylor said: "I didn't feel it was that serious but you can understand from the FA's point of view that they have a job to protect referees.

"I thought a warning letter would suffice but it may be they need to put a marker down for the future because these sites are being accessed by the media so it can be the equivalent of being on the television or being in the national press.

"But I felt the fact that an apology had been made (would mean) we could move on.

"Particularly when we've got issues like the Scott Laird situation to deal with, at Stevenage, which is much more serious bearing in mind with the FA Cup there will be teams that will have really good victories against higher opposition and sometimes that can invite a pitch invasion.

"You don't want that to happen, and be thinking about getting back to the problems of the 80s."

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Topics:
Ryan Babel
Football
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Stevenage
Newcastle United
Manchester United
Gordon Taylor
FA Cup
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