Rio Ferdinand has been suspended by the Football Association for three-matches, effective immediately, after the Queens Park Rangers defender was found guilty of misconduct for an ‘abusive’ message he sent to a Twitter troll.
Ferdinand was charged by the FA after he became involved in a Twitter exchange with a fan who had questioned the former Manchester United player’s defensive credentials. His response was deemed to be “abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper.”
The 35-year-old took exception after the supporter had suggested QPR ought to pursue a “good CB” following the troubles they have endured since their return to the Premier League, proceeding to use a derogatory term about the tweeter’s mother.
Ferdinand tweeted: “Get ya mum in, plays the field well son! #sket.”
The word ‘sket’, slang for whore, is what caused the problem, with the Daily Mail reporting that a number of Twitter users complained. It is unclear whether or not this influenced the charge from the FA.
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A precedent has now been set by the governing body, with this perhaps the most notable sanction on a player following misconduct on a social networking site. Ferdinand will miss the games with Chelsea, Manchester City and Newcastle, while he has also been fined £25,000.
The ex-England captain has made seven starts for QPR this season since his free transfer from Manchester United in the summer, but has not featured in either of their last two encounters.
Ferdinand, who made 455 appearances for Manchester United, missed the dramatic loss to Liverpool through injury and did not play during the victory over Aston Villa on Monday, a much needed win for Harry Redknapp.