Ryan Babel charged by FA for Twitter jibe

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The Independent Football

Liverpool forward Ryan Babel has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association for posting a picture of referee Howard Webb on Twitter.

The Holland international sent out a mocked-up picture of the World Cup final referee wearing a Manchester United shirt following his side's 1-0 FA Cup third-round defeat at Old Trafford.

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

The 24-year-old later added: "My apology if they take my posted pic seriously. This is just an emotional reaction after losing an important game.

"Sorry Howard Webb."

The apology has not been enough to prevent a charge from the FA, who said in a statement: "The charge relates to comments and images published by the player on Twitter concerning referee Howard Webb."

Babel has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.