On 3 September 2021, The FA announced that Marc Bola (“the Player”), of Middlesbrough FC, had been charged with misconduct for an alleged Aggravated Breach of the FA Rules, 2021/2022 (“the 2022 Rules”), rules E3.1 and E3.2 (“the Charge”).
The Charge related to a Tweet the Player posted from his Twitter account on 14 April 2012. The Tweet has since been deleted but it is understood that the Tweet made reference to sexual orientation and was deeply offensive.
The Rules, rules E3.1 and E3.2 state:
‘A Participant shall at all times act in the best interests of the game and shall not act in any manner which is improper or brings the game into disrepute or use any one, or a combination of, violent conduct, serious foul play, threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting words or behaviour’.
‘A breach of Rule E3.1 is an “Aggravated Breach” where it includes a reference, whether express or implied, to any one or more of the following :- ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation or disability’.
The Player is currently 24 years old. At the time of the Tweet subject to the Charge, the Player was 14 years old and was part of Arsenal FC’s Academy.