• Tweets related to Adam Johnson and England Women’s team
• Rubie claimed ‘dirty dishes’ tweet referred to male cleaner
The Football Association has banned agent Saif Rubie for six weeks and fined him £10,000 for “improper” comments he made on Twitter relating to former Manchester City winger Adam Johnson and the England women’s football team.
Rubie, who accused Liverpool of “mentally bullying” his client Bobby Duncan before the England youth forward’s move to Fiorentina in September, has been suspended from all intermediary activities” until January 15th after being found guilty of two breaches of the FA’s rule E3 by an independent regulatory commission. He will also have to attend an FA education programme for improper use of social media within four months, with failure to do so leading to a potential further ban.
The commission’s written reasons behind the sanctions have now been released and they reveal that his ban relates to two tweets posted by Rubie in the space of 12 months. The first, in July 2018, related to Johnson – the former England player who was convicted of sexual activity with a child and sentenced to six years in prison in 2016 before being released in March.
“I think it is an utter disgrace that Adam Johnson got time in the first place. Who hasn’t made a mistake similar to his?” wrote Rubie, followed by three “crying with laughter” emojis. In his defence, the agent denied the charge and claimed that he had been joking.
“What was in fact being presented by the tweet was the direct opposite of what it said: Saif Rubie had experience through his ownership of a nightclub in Dubai of men making sexual advances towards underage girls who were often made up to look older. It was his view that Mr Johnson was rightly punished and that is what the tweet was intended to convey.”
The second tweet was posted in response to his friend and former Brighton and Swansea striker Leon Knight on 2 July 2019, a few hours after England’s defeat to the USA in the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup in France.
“@knightie82 DON’T WORRY LADS THEY’RE COMING HOME”, accompanied by four emojis of monkeys covering their eyes and featuring a photograph of a sink full of dirty dishes. Despite Rubie’s claim that he was referring to a conversation he had with Knight about the fact that his male Philipino cleaner was often late or absent – therefore leaving Rubie’s apartment in disorder – the commission found both charges proved.
“This was because of the nature of the tweets – in particular one being aggravated by implied reference to gender – and the fact that Saif Rubie has previously been warned about a comment he posted,” read the report.