Ex-Luton Town striker Andre Gray has been suspended by the Football Association for four matches after being found guilty of misconduct in relation to comments he posted on social media.
The 25-year-old Burnley forward had been charged by the FA for bringing the game into disrepute over homophobic posts he made on Twitter in 2012, while playing for Hinckley United.
Gray, who scored 57 goals in 111 games for the Hatters during his time at Kenilworth Road, was found guilty of six aggravated breaches of FA Rule E3(1) regarding comments deemed to be “abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or bringing the game into disrepute”.
He admitted three of the breaches, but denied a further three, although, following the Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on Thursday, these three were found proven.
Gray, who apologised for the tweets, has now accepted the ban, along with his club, as he will miss Monday’s Premier League game against Watford at Turf Moor, plus matches againt Arsenal, Everton and Southampton, with the striker also fined £25,000 and ordered to attend an FA education course.
In a statement posted on the Clarets official website, the club said: “Burnley Football Club and Gray accept the Independent Regulatory Commission’s decision, which relate to historical posts made before Andre joined the club in August 2015.
“Gray himself regrets the posts and has pledged, in an apology, to continue to improve, both as a person and role model to others.
“We believe this charge, regarding historical social media posts, should now also serve as a warning to all professional footballers, and participants in the wider sporting field.”