Gray handed ban for abusive posts

Chelsea v Burnley - Premier League

Burnley forward Andre Gray has been suspended for four matches for abusive statements made on Twitter.

Posts sent from Gray's personal account in 2012 were widely shared after he scored in his side's 2-0 Premier League win over Liverpool last month, including one that read: "Is it me or are there gays everywhere? #Burn #Die #Makesmesick".

Gray issued an apology in which he claimed he was now a "wholly different person" and did "not hold the beliefs written in those tweets whatsoever".

A statement from Burnley revealed that Gray was found guilty of "six aggravated breaches of FA Rule E3(1) regarding comments deemed to be 'abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or bringing the game into disrepute'", having admitted three charges and denied the other three.

Burnley's top scorer in the Championship last season, Gray will miss Monday's Premier League fixture with Watford as well as subsequent matches against Arsenal, Everton and Southampton after his club accepted the punishment. Gray has also been fined £25,000 plus costs.

The Clarets added: " We believe this charge, regarding historical social media posts, should now also serve as a warning to all professional footballers, and participants in the wider sporting field."