Danny Gabbidon Punished for Twitter Rant: Where Will It End for FA?

Paul ReeceContributor IIApril 28, 2011

Gabbidon (left) punished for comment after Villa defeat
Gabbidon (left) punished for comment after Villa defeatPhil Cole/Getty Images

West Ham United's Danny Gabbidon has become the latest player to be punished for his comments on Twitter leaving many wondering if the Football Association has gone to far.

The Welshmen was punished for his tweet towards abusive fans which read: " **** the lot of you" following the Hammers 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa.

And Gabbidon joins teammate Carlton Cole who was punished for comments during the England vs. Ghana game in March.

Cole like Gabbidon was charged with "improper conduct and/or bringing the game into disrepute" after tweeting: "Immigration has surrounded the Wembley premises! I knew it was a trap! hahahah!"

But the latest charge has left many people questioning if the FA has gone to far in its acts to punish players—where will it all end?

Should a player receive abuse from his own or other club's fans on Twitter without the right to reply?

As people say "there is no need for offensive language" but can the FA really dictate what people can and can not say on Twitter?

It is hard to understand how the FA can punish for comments made on a players personal account but what should happen to those who push a player to such a comment as Danny Gabbidon's?

If a player is racially abused or foul or abusive language is directed towards them at a football ground—the football club is made responsible.

Should the same apply for Twitter? If a player is sparked into a reaction by abusive fans should the clubs be punished.

The FA need to take into consideration the sheer volume of tweets which are directed towards players—an example being Michael Owen and the abuse he received from Newcastle United fans on Twitter.

They are of course not the only fans in the country to vent anger at a player—and any player who tweets needs to be thick skinned to take the praise and abuse.

Where should the FA's powers end as well. On the pitch they should have the right to act against foul language—yet players are continually seen to swear directly at the referee without punishment.

Despite it being in the rule book as a direct sending off offence it is almost never enforced at the top level—yet a player tweets on his own personal account and he is punished.

Are players expected to live perfect lives and never swear, if Gabbidon tweeted music lyric's which included swear words—would he be punished?

It is of course impossible for club's to monitor their own fans on Twitter—freedom of speech allows anyone to comment on anything they wish yet could the FA fine club's for comment their fans make on twitter towards players?

I like many wonder now just how far the FA will go, if you can no longer comment on your own Twitter page—how can players still use offensive language on the pitch?

Personally I do not see a big problem regarding swearing, I think their are more problems in football then the words a player uses on or off the pitch.

But can FA really have one rule for on the pitch and another for off it? Who else will be punished by the FA?