British soccer star Ashley Cole was fined £90,000 — or, for American readers, $145,000 — by the sport’s governing body in England on Thursday for an obscene Twitter post he directed at the organization last week.
Cole (pictured at right) plays left-back for England’s national team and the powerhouse English Premier League club Chelsea. His Chelsea teammate John Terry was recently dealt a four-match suspension for racial abuse against an opposing player. The Football Association’s Independent Regulatory Commission questioned Cole about the incident during its investigation, then cast doubt on the credibility of his testimony when it released a report on what it had found.
In response, Cole sent this tweet on Oct. 5:
The soccer star deleted his tweet soon after, but by that time it had already gained more than 17,000 retweets and screenshots had pinged about the web (we grabbed this image from our friends at Digital-Football.com). The rather creative hashtag he invented also became a short-lived sensation among digitally savvy fans with an appreciation for the offbeat and bizarre.
In a post to its website announcing the fine, the Football Association said Cole’s message “was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute” and that he has been “warned as to his future conduct.”
While Cole was slapped with a hefty fine, he was on the national team roster for England’s 1-1 draw with Poland in World Cup qualifying match, so appears to have avoided a suspension there. Chelsea is expected to levy its own punishment against him soon, however — while $145,000 is an expensive tweet, it’s possible Cole will have to open his checkbook again soon.
Do you think $145,000 is a too harsh a fine, not steep enough, or just right? Give us your take in the comments.
Thumbnail image courtesy @TheRealAC3