Earlier this year, the Port Vale striker responded to a request online to predict the course of a hypothetical Third World War. Mr Pope tweeted: “We invade Iran then Cuba then North Korea then the Rothchilds [sic] are crowned champions of every bank on the planet – the end.” The tweet has since been deleted.
After being warned by other Twitter users that his tweet could be construed as racist, he said: “I mentioned them owning the banks which is fact and now I’m facing all this,” adding: “How is it racist?? Seriously is someone out to destroy me or what?”
Port Vale then released a statement in which Mr Pope apologised.
Nevertheless, the FA investigated the incident as an ‘Aggravated Breach’ of Rule E3(2), which prohibits abusive speech with reference, whether expressed or implied, to race and/or religion and/or ethnic origin, and Mr Pope has been found to have breached the Rule.
Port Vale is expected to appeal the ruling.