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Liverpool's Ryan Babel fined 10,000 for Twitter post

Liverpool forward Ryan Babel
Babel apologised on Twitter for his post about referee Webb

Liverpool striker Ryan Babel has been fined £10,000 over a Twitter post and warned about his future conduct.

The Dutch forward linked to a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt after Liverpool lost 1-0 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.

Babel admitted a charge of improper conduct at a Football Association Regulatory Commission hearing.

"Social network sites like Twitter must be regarded as being in the public domain," said chairman Roger Burden.

Babel later apologised for the post but it was not enough for the 24-year-old to escape punishment on Monday.


"All participants need to be aware, in the same way as if making a public statement in other forms of media, that any comments would be transmitted to a wider audience," added Burden.

"It is their responsibility to ensure only appropriate comments are used."

In the FA Cup match on 9 January, Ryan Giggs scored the game's only goal from a second-minute penalty awarded by Webb for Daniel Agger's challenge on Dimitar Berbatov.

Webb later sent off Steven Gerrard in the 32nd minute for a challenge on Michael Carrick. Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish labelled the penalty decision "a joke" and also disagreed with the red card for his captain.

In addition to posting a link to the doctored picture of Webb, Babel wrote: "And they call him one of the best referees. That's a joke." He subsequently removed the link and wrote an apology on Twitter.

The former Ajax player has more than 180,000 Twitter users - 20,000 of which were gained in the last week - following his updates and his messages and the offending image was subsequently reproduced by some media outlets.

Babel later wrote on Twitter: "My apology if they take my posted picture seriously. This is just an emotional reaction after losing an important game. Sorry Howard Webb."

He then joked about spending a spell in "Twitter jail" and his previously prolific posts stopped on 9 January.

Babel's use of the site has also been questioned before. In a tweet in January 2010 the player made public his displeasure at being dropped by then Reds boss Rafael Benitez in a tweet in January 2010.

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see also
Man Utd 1-0 Liverpool
09 Jan 11 |  FA Cup
Dalglish fumes at 'joke' penalty
09 Jan 11 |  FA Cup
SFA issues social network warning
10 Jan 11 |  Scotland
Benitez & Babel in tweet fall-out
15 Jan 10 |  Liverpool

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