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Cole charged by FA over obscene tweet

ESPN staff
October 8, 2012 « David Hussey poised to return to Nottingham | Chartbeat test »

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has been charged by the Football Association following his Twitter tirade against the governing body.

In a statement on its website, the FA said: "Chelsea FC's Ashley Cole has been charged by the FA in relation to a Twitter comment which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute."

The Blues and England left-back has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge. On Friday, the Chelsea defender used his official Twitter account to respond to the publication of an FA panel's report into the John Terry racism verdict. He tweeted: "Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFT**S''

The tweet created a storm and was re-tweeted more than 19,000 times before Cole deleted it. It sparked speculation about his international future - he has 98 England caps and is in the squad for the next two World Cup qualifiers.

He issued an "unreserved" apology later that day, saying in a statement: "I had just finished training and saw the captions on the TV screens in the treatment rooms about what was said in the FA commission ruling about me.

"I was really upset and tweeted my feelings in the heat of the moment. I apologise unreservedly for my comment about the FA."

Di Matteo has already confirmed that Chelsea will take disciplinary action against the defender.

In its written reasons for the punishment handed to Terry, the tribunal panel said it had "considerable doubts" about evidence given in support of Terry by Cole, suggesting it had "evolved".

The document, released on Friday morning, says the Chelsea left-back added, at a later date, the word "black" into a witness statement outlining what he claimed to have heard Anton Ferdinand saying to Terry when QPR played Chelsea at Loftus Road last October.

Cole backed his team-mate's claim that he had repeated the words "f****** black c***'' because he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying them.

He said he thought Ferdinand may have used the word "black" during a verbal exchange with Terry but, according to the commission, did not mention the word when interviewed by the FA on October 28.

On November 3, David Barnard, the Chelsea club secretary, asked the FA for the word to be inserted into Cole's witness statement, suggesting that the defender may have heard Ferdinand use it.

The commission saw an email exchange between the FA and Barnard, which it said should be regarded as "cogent new evidence".

In a statement, Chelsea defended both Cole and Bernard and said: "Ashley co-operated at all times with the FA and stands by the evidence that he gave and does not accept the criticism that has been made."

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