Liverpool Football Club’s teenage star Suso was today fined £10,000 for calling a teammate ‘gay’ on Twitter.
The 19-year-old fell foul of footballing authorities when he uploaded a photo of his well-groomed pal Jose Enrique having his teeth whitened.
He then quipped: “What f*** is he doing? This guy is gay… He has some mentals problems. He does everything except play football.”
A number of Suso’s 139,000 followers criticised him for the November tweet with the youngster quickly apologising and deleting it.
The FA yesterday (Tues) fined him #10,000 for bringing the game into disrepute by including a reference to “a person’s sexual orientation” in a tweet.
A statement from the football body said: “Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing yesterday [Monday 17 December 2012], Liverpool’s Jesus Fernandez Saez (Suso) has been fined £10,000 and warned as to his future conduct for a comment posted on Twitter.
“The charge, which the player admitted and requested a paper hearing, was that he acted in a way which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute in that the comment was posted on his Twitter account and included a reference to a person/s sexual orientation and/or disability.”
Jose Enrique defended his teammate following the FA’s fine yesterday.
He tweeted: “Is amazing how fa can fine my friend @suso30fernandez for a banter thing. Was just a joke!!!”
Liverpool FC is well known in the gay community for its positive stand against homophobia.
In August it became the first Premier League football club to be officially represented at a UK LGBT Pride event.
The Gay Footballers Supporters Network welcomed the punishment for Liverpool star Suso and called for The FA to reinvest the fine in the fight against homophobia.
Chris Basiurski, chairman of GFSN, said: “We welcome this action from the FA and hope that it will continue to be a warning to people in the game that homophobic comments are not an acceptable form of banter and that people should take greater care when using social media.
“However, in a time where resources to fight discrimination in football are limited, we would like to see the monies received by The FA in fines reinvested in the fight against homophobia.
“Not only would it serve as an appropriate punishment for offences, but also provide a positive outcome, with the fines used to fund some of the important initiatives needed in the game to spread the inclusive message.”