Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel will avoid any further punishment from the FA for appearing to suggest they were clowns on his Instagram page.
The 30-year-old has been handed a three game ban after he was found guilty of stamping on Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea during the Reds' 2-1 defeat at Anfield on Sunday.
Skrtel seemed to be at risk of missing even more games for Liverpool after he put the picture of clowns on his official Instagram page. However the Mirror report that the FA will not take the matter any further, despite clamping down on the use of social media in recent months. West Ham striker Carlton Cole was fined after he directed abuse towards a Tottenham fan on Twitter earlier this month.
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The Liverpool defender did not include a caption with the picture, and there is no confirmation that the picture was directly aimed at the FA or anyone else.
Skrtel will now miss key games as Liverpool go in search of a top four finish this season, starting with the showdown against Arsenal after the international break. He'll also sit out the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Blackburn and return after the game against Newcastle next month.
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The incident is the latest setback for Liverpool, who are now five points adrift of Manchester United after the defeat at the weekend. The form of Daniel Sturridge since his return from injury is likely to be a cause for concern for boss Brendan Rodgers. He bagged his fight goal of the season against Manchester United, and Kop legend Robbie Fowler says the England international needs time to find his rhythm again.
He said: “What happens is when you first come back into the side, you get by on adrenalin, and then all of a sudden it just hits you. You are playing catch-up. He missed a lot of games and he looked sharp and looked good when he came back.
“But then there’s that little bit of a momentum loss. He’s not playing as well as he would like but you know what – he’s still scoring goals.
“His movement and sharpness is probably not what it was when he first came back but he’ll get it right. Because I’m a forward I think it’s not just about him. We shouldn’t be putting pressure on Daniel to score goals, we need other players to weigh in as well.”
The stamp on De Gea looked pretty clear cut - and given that Diego Costa was banned for a similar offence against Liverpool there was never any doubt that Skrtel would receive a similar punishment.
His Instagram post was hardly his smartest move, although it's easy to see why some players seem to get angry at the FA given their lack of proportionality when it comes to punishments.