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FA – what does that stand for again?

The FA have farcically charged Carlton Cole with improper conduct following one of his tweets during the England v Ghana match.  This is wrong on so many levels, it's un-true.

The advent of the Premier League and all its riches had made the gap between fans and players wider than it ever had been.  The foreign star in his blacked out BMW did not relate to the star struck 7 year old boy who worshipped.  There was no connection save for the 90 minutes the boy got to watch his hero every Saturday.  The advent of social media allowed a connection between players and fan that had previously not existed.

There are some faults with the twitter relationship that players have with their fans, namely they are happy to be followed but don't really follow.  However, many reply to tweets and are happy to re-tweet on request.  But the fact is, Twitter has given us insight into the lives of footballers that us fans had never had before.  In some respects, it shows their lives can be as mundane as ours 'staying in and watchin telly tonight folks' but it also gives us their thoughts before a match that the scripted pre-match interviews don't.  Fans really value the fact their heroes are giving them this entry into their world, and now the FA is looking to act as the thought police and control the thoughts and words of our footballers outside of the game.

Carlton's tweet was a bit silly, but I don't imagine one bit of malice in it.  It's the kind of comment or joke people make everyday.  But to bring him up on a charge, in a world where Wayne Rooney gets away with smashing an opponent in the face with his elbow, is a disgrace.  It will only serve to turn footballer's tweets into the sort of mediocre crap we have to put up with in match interviews, where everyone is treading on eggshells and being careful not to offend anyone.

So, well done FA, you've taken the game back another decade.  There are plenty of things wrong with the game, why not focus on those rather than penalising players for being human, or is that what you are afraid of…..?

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