London: Ryan Bertrand will not be punished by the Football Association for swearing on Twitter after becoming riled by suggestions his withdrawal from the England squad was due to a “sore throat”.
The leftback, who has been suffering all week from a virus which has prevented him training, was released back to Chelsea on Thursday to be monitored by the club’s medical staff. The 23-year-old posted a message confirming his illness was more serious than had been suggested, adding: “Do you think a ‘sore throat’ could stop me being a part of a match for my club or country? #yourfuckingnuts this is what every boy dreams of.” The message was subsequently deleted, an apology issued and his account appears to have been closed.
The outburst came three days after the FA spoke with England’s players at St George’s Park about a new code of conduct, which will be in place for next month’s friendly in Sweden, and on the day the governing body’s regulatory department confirmed Ashley Cole has admitted a misconduct charge for calling the FA “a bunch of twats” in a tweet last Friday.
Yet, while the timing was unfortunate, there is sympathy within the England set-up for Bertrand’s sense of frustration and the player will not be punished for his remark.
“It’s another reminder of how careful players have to be but his sentiments were laudable,” said the England manager, Roy Hodgson.
“They showed how much he wants to play for England and he was a bit irritated that someone suggested he doesn’t play when he gets a sore throat. His choice of words was wrong. But I’m pleased he has apologised for it. It reminds us how unbelievably careful players of his profile have to be. I believe the FA has made a decision [on whether or not to punish him] and there is not a question that he will be charged. But it is a lesson that needs to be learned.”
The FA had suggested Bertrand had been suffering from a sore throat earlier in the week, with his condition having worsened since. The defender took to Twitter earlier in the day to explain his withdrawal from the squad for the game against San Marino.
“Just to clarify.... Its not a ‘sore throat’,” he wrote. “Im ill. swollen glands in my neck... And constant headache for 3 days now and freezin cold.” He later added: “sorry if i offended anyone by swearing as i don’t encourage that type of language... was just disappointed at the thought of people thinking i only have a sore throat.. which is not the case.” Cole has requested a non-personal hearing for his own charge, the date of which has yet to be set, and is expected to be fined.