Ryan Babel fined for ripping referee

Updated: January 17, 2011, 1:16 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Liverpool winger Ryan Babel has been fined $16,000 by England's Football Association over a series of Twitter postings that criticized a Premier League referee.

Having already accepted a charge of improper conduct, Babel also was warned about his future conduct.

The Netherlands national team player posted a digitally altered picture of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt after being angered by the decisions in Liverpool's 1-0 loss at Old Trafford in the FA Cup on Jan. 9.

Roger Burden, the chairman of the FA's regulatory commission, says that "social network sites, like Twitter, must be regarded as being in the public domain."

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press