English Premiership

Babel charged over tweet pic

2011-01-11 09:33
Ryan Babel (File)
London - Liverpool midfielder Ryan Babel was charged with improper conduct by the Football Association (FA) on Monday after posting a mocked-up photo of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt on social networking site Twitter.

The picture appeared on the Dutch forward's official page on Twitter just hours after United beat Liverpool 1-0 in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday - a match refereed by Webb.

Webb, who refereed last year's World Cup final, angered Liverpool by awarding United a first-minute penalty from which Ryan Giggs scored before sending-off Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

As well as the photo, Babel wrote: "And they call him one of the best referees? That's a joke. SMH (shaking my head)."

The 24-year-old Dutchman subsequently apologised to Webb, saying: "My apology if they (Babel's Twitter 'followers') take my posted pic seriously. This is just an emotional reaction after losing an important game.

"Sorry Howard Webb."

Babel has until 18:00 SA time on Thursday to respond to the charge.

The picture at the centre of the fuss (File)

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