05.02.2020 17:44 h

Striker charged by FA over allegedly anti-Semitic social media post

Port Vale forward Tom Pope is facing a fresh ban relating to his use of social media after he wrote an allegedly anti-Semitic post on Twitter.

The 34-year-old has already served two one-game suspensions this season over his online activity.

In tweets sent in early January, Pope, having been asked to "predict the WWIII result", wrote: "We invade Iran then Cuba then North Korea then the Roth(s)childs are crowned champions of every bank on the planet."

Pope later deleted the tweet and insisted he was unaware it could be perceived as anti-Semitic.

An FA statement issued Wednesday said Pope had been charged with an "aggravated breach" of FA rule E3.

The governing body said such a breach "is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included a reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or religion and/or ethnic origin".

A statement on Wednesday from Port Vale, who play in the fourth tier of English football, said Pope would contest the charge.

"The Port Vale forward strongly denies allegations that his Twitter comments made 'a reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or religion and/or ethnic origin' and will vigorously defend the charge," it said.

Shortly after deleting the message in January, Pope issued a statement apologising for any offence caused.

"Following the reaction to my response on Twitter about the Rothschilds, I was unaware of any link between the Roth(s)child family and the Jewish community," he said.

"If I have caused offence to anyone, I'd like to apologise enormously as this was never my intention."

Pope had previously created a storm on social media after scoring a goal for the League Two club in the third-round FA Cup tie against Manchester City in January.

Last year, Pope mocked City defender John Stones in a tweet, claiming he would score 40 goals a season if he faced the England international every week, but he followed up his goal by saying it would be "more like 50".