Babel charged by FA

Image: Babel: Charged by FA

Liverpool midfielder Ryan Babel has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association.

Dutchman charged over Webb remarks

Liverpool midfielder Ryan Babel has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association. The charge is in relation to comments and images posted by the Dutchman on social networking site Twitter regarding referee Howard Webb following the Reds' 1-0 defeat to Manchester United in the third round of the FA Cup on Sunday. Webb handed Dimitar Berbatov a controversial penalty in the opening minute of the clash before dismissing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard later in the first half for a lunging challenge on Michael Carrick. After the game Babel aired his frustration on Twitter, writing: "And they call him one of the best referees? That's a joke. SMH (shaking my head)." The Dutchman also posted a mocked-up photo of Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt. The Holland international 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."

Apology

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. Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish said earlier he felt it was just a joke and had hoped further action would not have been necessary. "Maybe I've been out of the game too long but let's see if they can find a sense of humour," he said. "He apologised straight away." And Dalglish joked: "I don't think he's clever enough technically to have drawn that up himself." Babel is the first player to be charged with improper conduct over an offence on Twitter.

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