Premier League: Everton defender Mason Holgate warned by FA over homophobic tweets

London: Everton defender Mason Holgate has been given a formal warning by the Football Association following an investigation by the English national governing body into alleged homophobic tweets.

Soccer Football - Europa League - Everton vs Apollon Limassol - Goodison Park, Liverpool, Britain - September 28, 2017 Everton's Mason Holgate applauds fans after the match Action Images via Reuters/Craig Brough - RC14DCC85650

File image of Everton's Mason Holgate. Reuters

The FA started an investigation in January after being alerted to a trio of tweets sent from a now-deleted account in 2012 and 2013, when Holgate was a member of Barnsley's youth set-up, that contained abusive terms for gay men.

Holgate joined Everton three years ago.

A statement issued via the @FAspokesperson Twitter account on Friday said: "The FA has concluded its investigation into historic tweets posted by Everton's Mason Holgate.

"Having carefully considered all of the available evidence, including his response, the tweets themselves and a response from the club, the player has been given a formal warning and directed to undertake a mandatory FA inclusion programme."

In February, Liverpool's Roberto Firmino avoided disciplinary action after the FA said it had not found sufficient evidence he racially abused Holgate during an FA Cup third-round tie.

The pair clashed on the touchline during the Merseyside derby match at Anfield, with Firmino reacting angrily after Holgate pushed him over the advertising hoardings.

Holgate became furious in turn as a result of something said to him by Firmino.

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Updated Date: Mar 24, 2018 15:50:27 IST

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