Everton defender Mason Holgate has been given a formal warning by the Football Association after allegations he posted homophobic tweets in 2012.
The 21-year-old has been told to undertake a “mandatory FA inclusion programme” after posts – sent from his account – emerged after Everton’s third-round FA Cup defeat to Liverpool in January.
The youngster was involved in an angry confrontation with Reds forward Roberto Firmino, with the defender apparently accusing the Brazilian of making a racial slur in the immediate aftermath of pushing him into the crowd.
Post-match, fans of the Anfield club apparently made reference to the tweets – sent when the Under-21 international was 15.
Holgate was playing for Barnsley when the tweets were posted.
The FA said it had “considered all of the available evidence” which included Holgate’s response, and one from the club.