LONDON: Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand has been suspended for three matches and fined £25,000 (RM131,403) after he was found guilty of misconduct by the Football Association (FA) for an "abusive" comment he made on Twitter.
The 35-year-old was also ordered to attend an education programme as part of the punishment handed down following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing.
The former England defender was found guilty of tweeting a remark, which was deemed "abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper", to a member of the public in September.
"It was further alleged that this breach was aggravated pursuant to FA Rule E3(2) as the comment included a reference to gender," the FA said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Ferdinand was also fined £25,000 (RM131,403), severely warned as to his future conduct and ordered to attend an education programme, arranged by The FA within four months."
The tweet — which was broadcast to Ferdinand's 5.9 million followers — used the word 'sket', which is a derogatory term defined as "a promiscuous girl or woman".
The defender had been tagged in a message that read: "Maybe QPR will sign a good CB (centre back) they need one."
In response, he tweeted: "get ya mum in, plays the field well son! #sket."
Ferdinand, who played 81 games for England, was previously found guilty of improper conduct and fined £45,000 (RM236,360) in 2012 for comments he made on Twitter about Ashley Cole.
In 2013 the former Manchester United defender was appointed a member of FA chairman Greg Dyke's England Commission aimed at improving English football.
The ban, subject to any appeal, means Ferdinand will miss struggling QPR's Premier League fixtures against table-topping Chelsea, champions Manchester City and Newcastle United. — Reuters