Three footballers have been charged by the FA over homophobic comments allegedly posted on Twitter.

Nile Ranger, Manny Smith and Federico Macheda are alleged to have posted anti-gay comments on the micro-blogging site.

The FA said: “Newcastle United’s Nile Ranger, Walsall’s Manny Smith and Manchester United’s Federico Macheda, currently on loan at Queens Park Rangers, have all been charged with improper conduct in relation to comments made on Twitter.

“The charge is that the players acted in a way which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute. It is further alleged that the breach included a reference to a person’s or persons’ sexual orientation.”

The players have until tomorrow afternoon to respond to the charge.

The FA launched a new anti-homophobia initiative called Opening Doors and Joining In last week.

Earlier this month, the FA took action against New West Ham player Ravel Morrison, fining him £7,000 after he sent a tweet which included a gay slur.