Middlesbrough’s Marc Bola has surprisingly handed with FA charge over social media post from 2012, published nine years ago.
The 23-year-old left-back is alleged by the Football Association to have posted “a reference to sexual orientation”.
But now the FA has received a huge backlash over the decision to punish him for something he did aged 14, with thousands of people slamming the governing body.
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An FA statement read: “Middlesbrough FC’s Marc Bola has been charged with a misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on April 14, 2012.
“It is alleged that this post is insulting and/or abusive and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3.1.
“It is further alleged that this post constitutes an “aggravated breach” which is defined in FA Rule E3.2, as it included a reference to sexual orientation.
“The defender has until September 20, 2021 to provide his response to this charge.”
Bola is an Arsenal academy graduate, although he failed to make a senior appearance after joining the Londoners at the age of 13, a year before he wrote the post.
The full-back secured a permanent move to then-League One side Blackpool. After an impressive season with the Seasiders, Bola was snapped up by current club Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee in 2019.
The Greenwich-born ace has picked up over 50 league appearances for Boro during his two years on Teesside.
A club spokesman said: “Middlesbrough Football Club are aware of an FA charge against Marc Bola with regard to comments made on social media when he was 14-years-old.
“The matter is the subject of FA disciplinary process and no further comment will be made at this time.”
Bola has played in all five of Middlesbrough’s Championship matches this season, having made four starts and one appearance from the bench.
talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan saw of the punishment, tweeting: “Alright now!
“This is absurd….
“A boy posts something silly when he was 14 and now 9 years later it’s going to get him sanctioned
“This virtue signaling tripe is not leadership or governance it’s cancel culture political correctness gone mad.”
Alright now !
This is absurd….
A boy posts something silly when he was 14 and now 9 years later it’s going to get him sanctioned
This virtue signaling tripe is not leadership or governance it’s cancel culture political correctness gone mad. https://t.co/dWrNjAnCJL
— Simon Jordan (@Sjopinion10) September 3, 2021
Fans reacted as Middlesbrough’s Marc Bola is handed with an FA charge over a social media post of his from 2012…
@P19760832: Ridiculous. That can’t be allowed. How can you be charged for breaking rules, that didn’t exist when the so-called offense was committed? @fa
@Das_Schmitten: Time to do our due diligence on every single FA employee starting with the board, council members and finally all staff. Seems reasonable to look at everything from being 10 years old
@chrisrobson13: He brought the game in to disrepute?? What game was it? The kick about at lunch time on the school field?
@BarryCellnet: Well done, he was 14
@craigmul89: Was FA Rule E3 even a thing when he tweeted. It’s like getting arrested when 26 for drinking in the park when 16 years old.
@pjeuk: Unnamed England player has withdrawn from Gareth Southgate’s squad for Sunday’s Andorra game after revelations that he wrote unfounded allegations that a fellow infant school classmate “smelled of poo and wee” on Mrs Rhodes blackboard in 2004
@Dbiz14: National team getting racially abused and these lot digging up tweets from 9 years ago. 🤔🤦♂️
@MatthewW191: So is it someone’s job to dig into the past of people and just find dirt? I just find it amazing that stuff that was ok to be said back then can now get you in trouble now.
@emmaverde9: This is shocking and embarrassing- when he was 14 🤬 he was not even an adult then. What is being achieved from this and other similar cases? Surely you should only be able to discipline on anything that happened when he was a footballer not when he was in secondary school
@seasidejohnbfc: Seriously???? He was 14 for gods sake, we have all said stuff when we were younger that has no bearing on what our beliefs are today, this is just pathetic!!!
@MuckersThe: Are you for real?! Absolutely taking the piss now. 🤬 if anyone has 30 seconds please read this and retweet it. Piss poor
@Murd1876: Really? Sort it out. Where do you stop… he was a 14 year old kid 🙄 let’s all have a delve into your past tweets and Facebook updates… I can guarantee at least 75% of the people that work at the FA have either said or publicly shared (social media) something which they regret
@peter_grogan: Basically if any kids in academies and kids football or any sport best come off social media as young as possible, as the authorities will have you if it doesn’t suit a narrative at the time they deem fit. Doing it to Marc Bola like the ECB did it to Ollie Robinson. A joke!
@mc70422: Embarrassing your searching up and charging him for something he did when he was 14. FA is a state
@TonyInsall: When he was 14?????? Absolutely astounds me how any player can be charged with something they said at that age. It’s bizarre. I’m sure the majority of those on the disciplinary panel said something offensive when they were 14 which they probably now regret.
@GavWeaver: @FAspokesperson have a word with yourselves…. Need to sort present day issues out. Surely time better spent with @kickitout @stonewalluk on raising awareness and creating positive change as supposed to trawling a kids social media posts from years ago
@Musttryharda: But you were happy for us (England) to take part in the World Cup in Russia and more than happy for the Qatar WC, you go @FAspokesperson I really feel you are fighting the real fight here
@bartrumus1986: Yep, penalising a bloke for what he wrote when he was a kid should be your priority. The standard of your referring isn’t a more pressing issue.
@MFCTay: whoever found that needs to get a job
@StokeyyG2: FA making silly decisions as per usual
@MrKartShyam: I’d love to know how they even came across this post. Did someone just decide one day “I’m gonna have a look through Marc Bola’s old tweets today” find something and think “yes get in, I’ll get him done”
@JoeJawsome: This is pathetic. Going after Marc Bola for a homophobic tweet from 2012 (he was 14), while we get ready for the next World Cup in Qatar. If you don’t know Qatar’s position on homosexuality, google it. Also, slaves built the stadiums, and thousands died doing it.
@TunesiMark: If I were Marc Bola I would be telling #FA to fuck right off. Trawling through tweets from when he was a kid is pathetic. You have bigger problems to deal with not this.
@leongentles7: Mental how fucking incompetent the FA are. A number of black English National team footballers racially abused last night yet literally the day after they’re stalking Marc Bola’s tweets from when he was 14. Weird bunch.
@dxnnymfc: marc bola was in year 10 coming home from school to jump on fifa 12 give it a rest man