Tom Pope could be in hot water over his latest social media post with the Football Association seeking answers from the Port Vale striker.
Hours after making headlines for an eye-catching display in Vale’s 4-1 FA Cup defeat by Manchester City, the veteran forward took to Twitter to answer a question from a fan.
“We invade Iran then Cuba then North Korea then the Rothchilds are crowned champions of every bank on the planet,” he said in response to a Twitter user who asked him to “predict the World War III result”.
Pope later deleted the tweet but the PA news agency understands the FA is looking into the matter and could launch an investigation depending on the outcome of talks with both the player and his club.
Pope had earlier created a storm on social media after his goal in Saturday’s third-round tie at the Etihad Stadium backed up his pre-match bravado in a personal battle with City’s John Stones.
Last summer Pope, 34, mocked Stones in a tweet, claiming he would score 40 goals a season if he faced the England defender every week.
All eyes were on their duel and, although Stones largely dealt with him well and had the last laugh as City prevailed, Pope certainly had his moment.
Pope cancelled out Oleksandr Zinchenko’s opener with a fine header – his 109th goal for the club which set a post-war record – and later intercepted a Stones pass to create another chance.
Pope said: “It was only banter and people have dug it up because we’ve drawn Man City. All of a sudden it’s everywhere and people have been on my case about it.
“He’s a world-class centre-half. I was just saying he wasn’t very physical and that’s it. If people think I’m wrong, well, I don’t care.
“I spoke to (Benjamin) Mendy and he said all their players had battered him for weeks about it and they got him that wound up about it and then obviously I’ve scored and he’s probably devastated.
“But I was just hoping I got a half chance to try to put one away. The last thing you want to do is get beaten 7-0 after everything that’s gone on Twitter, not score and everyone laugh.
“It was nice to shut a few people up to back up what I said but it’s water off a duck’s back. I wasn’t too bothered about it either way.”
Sorry I can’t reply to everyone it’s gone mental! I’d just like to say I was completely wrong and bang out of order to say I’d score 40 a season….. it’s more like 50 😊😊😊 enjoy your weekend 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
— Tom Pope (@Tom_Pope9) January 4, 2020
City invited the Vale players into the home dressing room after the game and Pope admits his meeting with Stones did not go well.
“They all dragged me in, the Man City players, but John wouldn’t speak to me,” said Pope. “It was a little bit awkward. I shook his hand but he wasn’t too happy.”
Pope certainly felt he had no reason to back down, later tweeting: “I’d just like to say I was completely wrong and bang out of order to say I’d score 40 a season… it’s more like 50.”