Blackpool defender Marvin Ekpiteta issued with 'formal warning' by the FA

Blackpool defender Marvin Ekpiteta has been issued with a formal warning by the Football Association following an investigation into historical tweets.

By Dan Black
Monday, 30th May 2022, 5:16 pm
Updated Monday, 30th May 2022, 5:17 pm

The centre back’s social media posts, which were originally generated eight years ago when he was 17, contained homophobic content and were pulled back into the public domain when team-mate Jake Daniels made the courageous decision to open up about his sexuality.

Daniels, who made his first-team debut for the Seasiders on the final day of the Championship season when coming off the bench away at Peterborough United, came out publicly earlier in the month, becoming the first openly gay male footballer in Britain to do so while still playing since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

Ekpiteta, who made 42 appearances for Neil Critchley’s men this term, apologised unreservedly for his actions as a naive teenager and took full responsibility for the posts.

HARTLEPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 08: Nicky Featherstone of Hartlepool United clears the ball whilst being chased by Marvin Ekpiteta of Blackpool during the Emirates FA Cup Third Round match between Hartlepool United and Blackpool at Suit Direct Stadium on January 08, 2022 in Hartlepool, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

In a statement published on May 17th, he wrote: “Today, social media posts I made in 2012 and 2013 have been highlighted.

"I want to wholeheartedly apologise for the offensive and completely inappropriate language I used and for the sentiments I expressed.

"As a footballer, and in the years spent in work before I became a professional footballer, I've been fortunate to have worked with a wide and diverse range of people. Throughout this period, I have developed and grown as a person.

"Yesterday, I was proud of Jake and all involved at Blackpool FC for what is a hugely positive moment for football as a whole. I am embarrassed by the comments I made as a 17-year-old, nearly a decade ago, which do not in any way reflect the values I hold now or the beliefs I have as a person or as a team-mate.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29: Tom Cairney of Fulham tackles Marvin Ekpiteta of Blackpool during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Blackpool at Craven Cottage on January 29, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

"Football needs to be a place where everyone can feel free to be true to themselves, and I am upset that the comments I previously made suggest otherwise. I take full responsibility for these posts, and I am sorry."

Daniels immediately jumped to the defence of his Bloomfield Road team-mate, saying: "What you said 10 years ago at 17-years-old doesn’t define the man you are today. I am proud to be your team-mate and to be part of the Blackpool family — we are all moving football forwards together."

Despite others facing punishment for similar incidents in the past — including ex-Burnley striker Andre Gray, who was handed a four-match suspension when found guilty of six aggravated breaches of FA rules in 2016 for posts he made on Twitter four years previous posts — Ekpiteta escaped without a ban or fine and was instead issued with a ‘formal warning as to his future conduct’.