Daniel Thomas Port Talbot Town
A Football Association of Wales Disciplinary Panel Hearing was held in Cardiff on Thursday, 22nd November 2012 to consider a charge against Daniel Thomas of Port Talbot Town FC with the Disciplinary Offence as set out under FAW Rule 38.1.9 for an alleged comment that was likely to bring the game into disrepute, which was posted on his Twitter account on 30th July 2012.
Before issuing a charge under FAW Rules to Mr Thomas, the FAW awaited the outcome of a police investigation and the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) who were considering whether Mr Thomas should be charged with a criminal offence.
In late September the CPS announced that no charges would be brought against Mr Thomas as they deemed his comment to be offensive but not a criminal offence.
Following its own investigation, the FAW therefore decided to charge Mr Thomas under its Rules and a Disciplinary Hearing was convened to consider the matter.
After carefully considering the written and verbal evidence submitted, the Panel decided that the charge against Mr Thomas was proven. The Panel further decided that Mr Thomas be subject to a one match suspension and fined a total of £500.00; £250.00 of which was suspended up until the end of the 2012/2013 season. Mr Thomas was also ordered to pay a proportion of the costs incurred.
Mr Thomas has the opportunity to appeal against the decision of the Disciplinary Panel within seven business days of the date of the hearing.
In recent years, social media and networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter have become part of our everyday lives. Overall, the use of social networking websites can be seen to be a positive influence on Welsh football.
The FAW launched its ‘Off The Pitch’ campaign at the start of the current season to offer advice to clubs and players on their use of social networking.
When used correctly it can be instrumental in raising the profiles of individuals, clubs and the game itself and allows individuals to actively engage with fans and build positive relationships with their peers.
Social media is a powerful platform and should be used to promote a positive message which will benefit football at every level in Wales.