Liverpool forward Ryan Babel has been fined £10,000 and warned about his future conduct by the Football Association after admitting a charge of improper conduct relating to comments and images posted on Twitter concerning referee Howard Webb.
Babel incurred the wrath of the governing body when tweeting a doctored photo of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt following Liverpool's 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford on January 9, which saw the match official award a contentious penalty to Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
Babel also wrote: "And they call him one of the best referees? That's a joke. SMH [shaking my head]."
Babel later apologised for his comments and posted: "My apology if they take my posted pic seriously. This is just an emotional reaction after losing an important game. Sorry Howard Webb."
Kenny Dalglish had also pleaded for the FA to show a sense of humour, but it confirmed on Monday that Babel had been punished for his behaviour.
Regulatory Commission Chairman, Roger Burden, said: "Social network sites, like Twitter, must be regarded as being in the public domain and all participants need to be aware, in the same way as if making a public statement in other forms of media, that any comments would be transmitted to a wider audience. It is their responsibility to ensure only appropriate comments are used."