Players in the Premier League and the three divisions of the Football League have been sent letters from the Football Association warning against racist and offensive posts.
Football’s image on social networking sites has come under scrutiny in the wake of John Terry’s recent court case.
In the subsequent fall-out, Rio Ferdinand has come under fire for publicising a tweet about Ashley Cole, while in a separate incident this week Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong has seen an anti-Jewish tweet investigated.
According to The Sun, the FA claimed their action came after receiving an increase in complaints about Twitter posts. Players have been warned that posting “abusive, indecent or insulting” messages may lead to “disciplinary action”.
An FA spokesman said: “If players do not adhere to the rules they could face a range of sanctions including monetary fines, warnings and suspensions. This goes for all our rules.”
Some of football’s Twitter twits
Wayne Rooney – threatened on Twitter to fight an abusive fan
Emmanuel Frimpong – In trouble with club Arsenal for anti-Jewish tweet
Joey Barton – claimed FA had sent him multiple letters over his tweets, but had not read any of them
Jack Wilshere – appeared to claim he had bet on an incident in an Arsenal match, warned by UEFA, and has subsequently closed Twitter account
Nathan Ecclestone – Probe launched by Liverpool after controversial tweet about 9/11
Wojciech Szczesny – comments about a team-mate’s picture were considered offensive by readers who could see them
Carlton Cole – Accused of racist joke ahead of England friendly with Ghana in 2011
Leon Knight – Caused outrage by showing fan a Tesco bag full of money