Following the launch of its anti-homophobia campaign, England’s Football Association has charged another three footballers with using anti-gay slurs on Twitter.
Newcastle United’s Nile Ranger (20), Walsall’s Manny Smith (23) and Manchester United’s Federico Macheda (20), currently on loan at Queens Park Rangers, have all been charged with improper conduct in relation to comments made on Twitter.
Earlier this month, Smith got into a Twitter exchange with gay fan Kevin Paddock, calling him “Kevin Cock,” and “a queer”. He later apologised to Paddock. It is unclear what incidents the other two players were involved in.
“The charge is that the players acted in a way which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute. It is further alleged that the breach included a reference to a person’s or persons’ sexual orientation,” said the FA.
Last week, Ravel Morrison, a midfielder for West Ham United, was fined Â£7,000 for using the word “faggot” in a tweet directed at another Twitter user who insulted him.
The FA’s crackdown comes just days after it launched a four-year-long campaign to stamp out homophobia in football. Critics say that the campaign is too vague and will not work.
The three players had until the end of Wednesday to respond to the charges.