Anfield boss wants the FA to get a sense of humour.
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Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has leapt to the defence of forward Ryan Babel after he was charged with improper behaviour by the Football Association.
The Holland international was hit with disciplinary action after posting a picture and comments about referee Howard Webb on Twitter after Sunday’s FA Cup defeat at Manchester United.
“I think it is only a bit of fun,” said Dalglish, who is the only Barclays Premier League manager who currently has his own Twitter account.
Babel sent out a mocked-up picture of the World Cup final referee wearing a Manchester United shirt and also wrote: “And they call him one of the best referees? That’s a joke. SMH (shaking my head).”
Dalglish felt Babel was just sharing a joke which quickly swept the internet after the game and it was not the player’s deliberate intention to accuse Webb of bias.
“Maybe I’ve been out of the game too long but let’s see if they can find a sense of humour,” the 59-year-old Scot said. “He apologised straight away.”
And Dalglish joked: “I don’t think he’s clever enough technically to have drawn that up himself.”
Soon after his original postings Babel apologised and put forward an explanation.
“My apology if they take my posted pic seriously. This is just an emotional reaction after losing an important game,” said the 24-year-old. “Sorry Howard Webb.”
Babel has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge. (ITV Football)
Ryan Babel isn’t just being defended by his manager.
The head of the PFA, Gordon Taylor, has also waded into the debate.
“Where’s our sense of humour gone in our game?” Taylor, Professional Footballers’ Association head, asked.
“He’s apologised, let’s move on,” he added on BBC Radio Merseyside.
To be honest, I’m inclined to agree with them both.
Ryan Babel didn’t make the picture of Howard Webb – he just linked to it.
To be fair, it is quite funny.
Liverpool fans will hope that the FA prove themselves au fait with social networks and understand that no harm was meant, while similarly hoping that the highly motivated looking Babel that came on against Manchester United continues in the same vein.
A suspension could very well disrupt that – and it is the last thing Liverpool need after also losing Steven Gerrard to a red card against Manchester United.
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