The FA has justified the three-match ban handed out to Queens Park Rangers’ former England defender Rio Ferdinand over comments he made on Twitter, saying in a statement on Wednesday that he was a role model.
Ferdinand, 35, took to the social media network last week to describe the ban as “ludicrous”.
But the FA, outlining the reasoning behind the punishment handed down by its Regulatory Commission, said:
“With nearly 6 million followers, Mr Ferdinand is clearly an experienced Twitter user and should know better than to respond in the way that he did.
“It is said on his behalf that he is one of the most high profile sportsmen on Twitter and he is, without doubt, a role model for many young people, no doubt throughout the world. His responsibility is therefore that much greater than many others.”
The QPR player used the word “sket”, which has the dictionary definition of “a promiscuous girl or woman”, in response to being sent a message in September suggesting his team needed a new centre half.
The defender, who played 81 games for England, had been tagged in a message that read: “Maybe QPR will sign a good CB (centre back) they need one.”
In response, he tweeted: “get ya mum in, plays the field well son!