Serge Aurier's outburst against management and teammates may result in him being exiled from the club
Paris Saint-Germain were without Serge Aurier for Tuesday night's victory over Chelsea in France. The full-back's recent outburst against his manager and teammates has made waves within the club and once again called into question the role of social media in the modern game.
Aurier made the comments during an "interview" conducted by a friend on video streaming platform Periscope, labeling PSG boss Laurent Blanc a "f****t", as well as accusing him of favouritism toward star forward, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The hateful language used has echoes of previous high profile cases in football, yet the outcomes have differed. Take John Terry for example.
In October 2011, Terry was accused of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during a fixture at Loftus Road.
Terry was charged with using “abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour, which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race” by an independent FA tribunal after a four-day hearing at Wembley.
Anton Ferdinand refuses to shake the hand of Chelsea's John Terry at Loftus Road in 2012. Image: Andrew Matthews / PA Archive/Press Association Images.
The 35-year-old is no stranger to controversy, having been involved in a court case over an incident outside a nightclub in 2002, as well as making headlines as a result of a bust up with Wayne Bridge which, once again, saw the players fail to shake hands in advance of a Premier League fixture.
However, he was valuable enough to the club that he has continued to play up until this season, and may even end up getting another short-term deal as they assess the extent of the injury to Kurt Zouma.
Conversely, Ryan Babel's uninspiring spell with Liverpool came to an end shortly after he used social media to accuse Howard Webb of bias toward Manchester United.
The Dutchman was fined £10,000 for posting this picture of the Premier League referee on Twitter following Liverpool's 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford in the FA Cup in January 2011.
Babel pleaded guilty to a charge of improper conduct at an FA hearing at Wembley and regulatory commission chairman Roger Burden issued a statement that highlighted that "social network sites, like Twitter, must be regarded as being in the public domain. All participants need to be aware, in the same way as if making a public statement in other forms of media, that any comments would be transmitted to a wider audience. It is their responsibility to ensure only appropriate comments are used."
A photo-shopped pictured of Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United jersey. Image: Twitter
Babel only made nine appearances for Liverpool that season, scoring just once, and was shipped off to Hoffenheim in a deal believed to be worth about £6 million.
In this instance, the club did not stand by Babel, nor did teammates come rushing forward in his defence to give character profiles. Just last year, Babel was also embroiled in a sexism row on Twitter after comments he made regarding women in football.
@Shannxo i think u should concentrate on growing some tits instead of speaking about football... Ur a girl.. Stay in ur lane..— Ryan Babel (@Ryanbabel) August 28, 2015
Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy was also in the headlines earlier this season, before his record goal-scoring run in the Premier League, after a video surfaced online of Vardy involved in an incident in a casino.
The Sun on Sunday published footage, reportedly taken in the early hours of 26 July last year, that appeared to show the England international shouting at a fellow gambler and calling him “Jap” on three occasions, insisting that he "walk on".
Leicester had been in trouble in May of that year also, when three of their players appeared in a sexually explicit video with a Thai woman, in which racial slurs can be heard.
James Pearson, son of then-manager Nigel Pearson, was one of the three payers who were subsequently sacked by the club.
Vardy, however, apologised for his conduct saying: "It was a regrettable error in judgement I take full responsibility for, and I accept my behaviour was not up to what's expected of me."
Jamie Vardy made his England debut in a friendly against Ireland in May 2015. Image: Martin Rickett / PA Archive/Press Association Images
The 29-year-old was warned about his conduct in future by the Football Association and fined by the club, who noted that it was: “...committed to promoting a positive message of community and family values and equality, and to upholding the standards expected of a club with its history, tradition and aspirations.”
In cases where pundits have made indiscretions, such as the sexism row surrounding Richard Keys and Andy Gray, as well as Ron Atkinson after he racially abused Marcel Desailly on live television, they are generally not given the leeway that players are.
Atkinson has not appeared on punditry duty since, while Keys and Gray now work with beIN Sports covering the Premier League for the Qatari network, far from the Sky Sports spotlight.
However, in instances where talented players are still of value to their clubs, sentences can be more lenient if they have something to offer on the pitch.
Aurier has featured heavily for PSG so far this season, and with the transfer window closed, it will be likely that he will remain with the club. Of course, the French champions will need to show that this sort of behaviour will not be tolerated and it's likely he'll receive a large fine.
With PSG are becoming a force in European football, Laurent Blanc may decide to take exception to this, if he feels a fine won't do, but they would have little trouble attracting another world-class defender into their squad given their competitive salary packages on offer, as well as having the lure of Champions League football.
After issuing an apology, Aurier was excluded from the squad for the game against Chelsea, but may well feature in the team's lineup again soon.
Aurier has now apologised publicly: "I have made a big mistake. I am here to apologise to the coach, my teammates, the club and the fans."— Julien Laurens (@LaurensJulien) February 14, 2016
No stranger to controversy, Aurier was also hit with a ban by UEFA last season for insulting referee Bjorn Kuipers after a Champions League game, posting a video on Facebook in which he stated the ref was a son of a b***h".
His compatriot Didier Drogba came out in his defence on Twitter asking for forgiveness for his "little brother" and for those who are rallying against him to give him a second chance.
On Monday he'll meet the directorship of the club when he'll find out his fate, which could include him being sent packing to avoid the problems of reintegration into the squad with the players and the manager that he insulted.
While PSG will want to show that they won't tolerate his language or behaviour (they are likely to issue him with the maximum fine possible) his future in the French capital could depend on the answer to one question, as it has in the past with other players at other clubs - how good is he on the pitch?