IAN Evatt says Dion Charles will have to accept any punishment dealt out by the Football Association over historical tweets containing racist and homophobic terms.

The Bolton Wanderers striker issued an unreserved apology yesterday after social media posts from 2011, 2012 and 2013 came to light, prompting the FA to open an investigation.

Wanderers swiftly issued a statement condemning the 26-year-old’s “completely unacceptable” actions but have not confirmed that any punishment will be handed out in-house.

Whether the FA choose to issue a fine or ban to the Northern Ireland international is another matter, with recent precedents set in cases involving Peterborough United’s Jonson Clarke-Harris and Middlesbrough’s Marc Bola.

In both cases the players were found to have breached FA rules E3.1 and E3.2 as their historical posts were deemed 'insulting and/or abusive and/or improper' regardless of their age at the time.

Charles made his debut for Wanderers in Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Hartlepool in the Papa John’s Trophy, and Evatt said the striker had endured an “emotional day”.

Asked whether the incident affected the team, he added: “Who knows? I don’t know.

“Obviously we have said as a club what we have said. Dion has apologised.

“As a football club, that is not acceptable, we don’t condone anything like that. We work really hard with our community and we are really proud of our community.

“We are disappointed and Dion has to take any punishment or any criticism that comes his way on the chin.

“But what I will say for him is he was a young man. It was a long time ago and he has matured and he’s learned a lot from that but we don’t condone that in any fashion and if there are consequences, he has to take that on the chin.”

Evatt deactivated his own Twitter account a few years ago and recently asked his players to step away from social media in order to focus on their form in the league.

“I can’t stand it,” he said. “Mobile phones and social media I think they are weapons of mass destruction.

“The way I see it, it all seems to be negative narrative all the time. It can be a toxic place and I think today has highlighted that.”