Everton defender Mason Holgate is reportedly facing a possible ban after the Football Association were made aware of posts allegedly made on social media from the player containing homophobic language.
As reported by Matt Hughes of The Times, the 21-year-old made the remarks in question in 2012 and 2013. In the exchanges Holgate used terms like "fag", "faggot" and "battyboy."
The FA is continuing to investigate an allegation from Holgate that he was racially abused by Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino during Liverpool's 2-1 Merseyside derby win in the FA Cup third round on Friday.
According to Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail, the match official for the game, Bobby Madley, has said in his match report that he was unaware of any racist language used by the Liverpool No. 9. The referee was stood between the two players during the exchange.
"Accompanied after the game by manager Sam Allardyce and director of football Steve Walsh, Holgate complained to Madley that Firmino had used the word 'negro'," wrote Lawton. "But if Firmino does dispute the claims, his defence is sure to highlight that Madley was perfectly placed and did not take action."
The exchange occurred after Holgate bundled Firmino into the crowd at Anfield.
As noted by Lawton, the Liverpool man was determined by lip-readers to be yelling in Portuguese at Holgate, with the supposed words translating to "are you crazy, you son of a bitch?" Firmino's face is blocked by another player at one point, before the Everton defender reacts furiously.
Holgate has since deleted the social media posts in question, although he could still face disciplinary action.