Footballer to attend education course over homophobic and racist historic tweets
Dion Charles has apologised to the LGBTQ+ and muslim communities for using offensive words
Bolton and Northern Ireland forward Dion Charles has been warned of his future conduct and ordered to attend an education programme for breaching FA rules due to historical discriminatory tweets.
The 26-year-old admitted that comments made were “abusive and/or insulting and/or improper” contrary to FA Rule E3.1 and also constituted an aggravated breach of FA Rule E3.2 because they included reference to race, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
An independent Regulatory Commission imposed the sanctions with Charles already apologising at the beginning of the year for the historic tweets.
“Dion Charles has been ordered to attend a mandatory face-to-face education programme and warned as to his future conduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 which relates to historical tweets,” an FA statement read.
Discriminatory tweets between 2011 and 2013 resurfaced after the Northern Ireland international completed a January move from Accrington to fellow Sky Bet League One club Bolton.
Charles was quick to issue an apology for the tweets and insisted he had “grown up considerably” in the ensuing years.
“First of all, I want to say how sorry I am for the hurt I have caused to those who have read my tweets,” Charles said in January.
“I particularly want to apologise to the LGBTQ+ and Muslim communities for the offensive words I used.
“There is no place in football or society as a whole for discriminatory and hateful views and I want to make it clear that I have grown up considerably since I posted those tweets many years ago. I am not racist and I am not homophobic.
“I know that Bolton Wanderers Football Club works hard to promote inclusion and kick out hatred and I completely support this.
“I will do everything while I am representing this club to help make football a game for everyone.
“Once again, I wish to reiterate how sorry I am for the offence and embarrassment my actions may have caused.”
At the time both Bolton chairman Sharon Brittan and manager Ian Evatt both expressed their disappointment at Charles’ tweets but insisted they were “pleased” at the immediacy of his apology for any offence caused.