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Middlesbrough defender Marc Bola has been charged by the Football Association for a tweet he sent when he was just 14-years-old, nearly 10 years ago.
Bola has been charged with 'aggravated' misconduct for a social media post from 2012, when he was still just a teenager.
The post, from the 23-year-old left back, who has played five times in the Championship so far this season, is said to have included a 'reference to sexual orientation.'
A statement by the FA said, "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."
Understandably fans aren't happy at the news that the player has been charged.
Our national team is getting racially abused but instead of assisting in any investigations you’re disciplining Marc Bola for something he said at 13/14 https://t.co/70tYXehuHU— Jack (@jackallisonnn) September 3, 2021
@FA If you're going to charge Marc Bola over a post he made when he was 14,Will you also be charging your former employees for this? Seeing as you like to bring up nonsensical charges. pic.twitter.com/6jpfXcaYBA— @Marcsharp82 (@Marcsharp821) September 3, 2021
Going to Qatar, a country steeped in human rights violations?— Joey (@_JoeyBuck1) September 4, 2021
FA: No problem
Marc Bola making offensive social media posts when he was 14?
I have absolutely no idea what Marc Bola’s tweet said, but I struggle to believe something posted by a 14 year old was that bad he should be charged for it over 9 years on— ً (@sfcdan_) September 3, 2021
I’ve no idea what Marc Bola said, but I’ve no doubt it must have been pretty bad for the FA to charge him…— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) September 3, 2021
I’m obviously not condoning it, whatever it was, but he was 14. Where does the line get drawn?
Who’s searching Marc Bola posts from 2012? https://t.co/8ENUhALvpF— Caine McCabe (@CaineUTB) September 3, 2021
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. https://t.co/cVwfzKbKg1— Leon Gentles (@leongentles7) September 3, 2021
Bola started life as a footballer in Arsenal's academy, though he never played any senior games for the north London club, and had moves on loan to Notts County and Bristol Rovers.
He signed for Blackpool in 2018, after the Gunners released him, and one season in League One was enough to earn him a move to Boro.
Last season he became a first team regular at the Riverside Stadium and has started all but one league game for Neil Warnock's team at the beginning of this campaign.
There is precedent with players being punished for old tweets. West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen was charged for a tweet written when he was 15 which contained a racist term.
The 24-year-old apologised for his post but was given an official warning by the FA and told to take an educational course.
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