League forced to issue players with Twitter guidelines

 

The Premier League yesterday revealed new guidelines for players using social media, hours after the Football Association charged Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong with improper conduct relating to recent comments on Twitter.

The 20-year-old responded to a Tottenham fan on 15 July and although he removed the comment from the social networking site shortly after, it did not escape the attention of the FA. Frimpong is recovering from a serious knee injury sustained while on loan at Wolves.

After posting a message on his official Twitter account earlier this month which read "if you going church today Pray For me Giving today A Miss", the Gunners midfielder retweeted a response from one Tottenham fan which read: "I prayed you break your arms and legs", to which Frimpong replied "Scum Yid".

The term has been used for decades to identify Tottenham supporters because of the proportion of Jewish fans at the north London club.

Last year, comedian David Baddiel launched a campaign to stamp out use of the word in football chants, which can be viewed as anti-Semitic.However, many Spurs fans use the term "Yid Army" themselves as a "badge of honour" and claim they are not offended by it.

Nevertheless, the FA took a dim view of the matter. A statement read: "Arsenal's Emmanuel Frimpong has been charged under FA Rule E3 for improper conduct in relation to recent comments made on Twitter."

Arsenal confirmed the player had been "reminded of his responsibilities when representing the club".

Many top-flight clubs have their own social media rules, but after requests from some teams, the Premier League has – following several months of work which included consultation with the Professional Footballers' Association and the FA – now put together guidelines which set out clear direction to players on the use of social media.

The document urges players to understand the potential audience of social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook and offers advice on the endorsement of brands, goods and services. It also prohibits confidential information about team selection, injuries or tactics from being disclosed on social media.

Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny has agreed a new long-term contract but his club have not disclosed the details. The 26-year-old France international joined Arsenal from Lorient in 2010 and has since established himself as a key member of Arsène Wenger's side.

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