Leicester City player Michael Ball has been fined £6,000 by the FA for anti-gay comments he made on Twitter.
Ball, 32, admitted the charge of bringing the game into disrepute with his expletive-peppered tweet.
The hefty sanction is, the Daily Mirror reports, the highest ever handed down to a player for a homophobic incident.
Ball is the second footballer in recent months to vent on the micro-blogging site after a gay man appeared on a reality TV show.
The subject of the message was Antony Cotton, a gay actor most famous for his role as Sean Tully, a gay character on Coronation Street.
Cotton was appearing in I’m A Celebrity last year.
Ball went to his Twitter account, reportedly writing: “That fucking queer. Get back to your sewing machine in Corrie, you moaning bastard.”
The left-back, who has played for England once in a friendly against Spain, was let go by his club last night after joining on a one-year contract.
The club tweeted: “Leicester City have today reached a mutual agreement with Michael Ball for the cancellation of his contract.”
It has not indicated that Ball was released as a result of his conduct.
Earlier this month, Lee Steele was sacked by his club, Oxford City, for comments he made about gay rugby star Gareth Thomas’s appearance on Celebrity Big Brother.
Steele, 38, was let go after tweeting: “I wouldn’t fancy the bed next to Gareth Thomas #padlockeda**ehole”.
In the summer of 2011, Cotton received some anti-gay abuse from another Twitter user.
The actor was told by user ‘kittykatlovex’: “I hope you get AIDS and die you freak.”
He responded: “I think we should report this one to the police.”
Later, Cotton wrote: “Don’t worry tweeps – I’m not upset! She looks like Worzel Gummidge!”
He added: “It is important to stand up, speak out and stamp out homophobia.
“And for that reason it’s important that I stand up for myself and make a point at least.
“Homophobia has no place in our society.
“What anyone thinks of me, the actor off the telly, is none of my business.
“But as a gay man, I am proud of who I am and the community I am part of. Some people are gay, get over it.”
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