Premier League footballer Andre Gray has requested a personal hearing from the Football Association over tweets suggesting that gays should be “burned”.
Andre Gray, a striker for Burnely, had faced criticism after shocking homophobic tweets from 2012 resurfaced online.
He wrote: “Is it me or are there gays everywhere? #Burn #Die #MakesMeSick”
The footballer has since deleted the tweets and asked “for forgiveness” over the posts, saying he was “a completely different person to the man I am now”.
He is facing action from the FA, which operates a zero-tolerance policy for homophobic conduct.
Mr Gray was set to respond to the charges today and requested a personal hearing on the issue.
An FA statement said: “Burnley’s Andre Gray has been charged with misconduct in respect of social media comments made between 9 January 2012 and 11 March 2012.”
“It is alleged the comments were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3(1).
“It is further alleged that these breaches include reference to an “aggravating factor”, namely, sexual orientation and/or gender and/or colour and/or race contrary to FA Rule E3(2).”
Under the FA rules he could face a £12,000 fine and a two-match ban over the incident.
A statement from Burnley said: “Burnley striker Andre Gray has requested a personal hearing to answer Football Association charges relating to historical posts made on social media.
“The player had until 6pm today (Monday, September 5) to answer charges of comments deemed to be “abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or bringing the game into disrepute” contrary to FA Rule E3(1).
“It is further alleged that these breaches, which relate to posts made between 9 January, 2012 and 11 March, 2012, included reference to an “aggravating factor”, namely, sexual orientation and/or gender and/or colour and/or race contrary to FA Rule E3(2).
“A date for the hearing has not yet been determined.”
Gray said previously: “I would like to respond to media reports with regards to previous tweets posted from my Twitter account.
“Firstly, I want to offer a sincere and unreserved apology to anybody I may have offended in relation to these tweets. The tweets were posted four years ago when I was a completely different person to the man I am now. I was at a very different point in my life back then – one that I’ve worked hard to move on from.
“Thankfully a lot has changed in my life since then. I have experienced a lot over the past four years and have had to take responsibility for a number of things in my life which has enabled me to mature and grow as a person since that time.
“I have a lot of regrets regarding a number of things I’ve done in the past and realise I have made some big mistakes, none more so than these tweets, but I would like to stress that I’ve worked incredibly hard to completely transform my life since that time.”
“To clarify, I do not hold the beliefs written in those tweets whatsoever. I can assure everybody that I am absolutely not homophobic and as said previously I can only apologise and ask for forgiveness to anyone I offended.
“Thankfully I am not the guy I was back then and will continue to work hard both on and off the pitch to become a better person.”.