Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand has been suspended for three matches and fined £25,000 ($40,000) for a comment he made on Twitter, the Football Association announced on Wednesday.
The 35-year-old former England captain was apparently punished for a tweet in which he referred to the mother of another Twitter user as a "sket" -- a derogatory slang term for a promiscuous woman.
"Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand has been suspended for three matches commencing with immediate effect, subject to any appeal, after an FA misconduct charge against him was found proven," read a statement released by the FA.
"It was alleged a comment Ferdinand posted on his twitter account was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper.
"It was further alleged that this breach was aggravated pursuant to FA rule E3(2) as the comment included a reference to gender.
"Following an independent regulatory commission hearing on Wednesday 29 October, Ferdinand was also fined £25,000, severely warned as to his future conduct and ordered to attend an education programme, arranged by the FA within four months."
A Twitter user provoked the tweet that appeared to land Ferdinand in hot water by sending him a teasing message on transfer deadline day that said: "Maybe QPR will sign a good CB (centre-back) they need one."
Ferdinand replied: "get ya mum in, plays the field well son! #sket."
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand, who won 81 caps for England, is a member of a commission set up by FA chairman Greg Dyke to investigate how to improve English football.
Ferdinand, who said last week that he would probably retire from playing at the end of the season, has over 5.9 million followers on Twitter and is a prolific user of the social networking website.