England

Ashley Cole apologizes for FA tweet

Ashley Cole (r) has apologized for his offensive tweet about the Football Association.
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Ashley Cole has apologized unreservedly for his offensive Twitter post about the Football Association and his role in the John Terry racism case, saying in a statement via his solicitor that the tweet had been posted "in the heat of the moment".

The independent Football Association regulatory commission said there were discrepancies in Cole's initial statement to FA interviewers of what he heard Anton Ferdinand say to Terry compared to a later statement.

Cole responded on his official Twitter account on Friday afternoon: "Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, [expletive].

The Chelsea and England fullback's evidence proved crucial to Terry in his acquittal at Westminster Magistrates Court in July, but the FA commission last week banned Terry for four matches for racially abusing Ferdinand.

Asked about Cole's tweet, Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo said they would look into it.

Di Matteo said: "We'll look at the tweet and then we'll see. Apart from this, I don't think the players are out of control."

Cole's involvement surrounded Terry's claim that he had only been repeating the words "[expletive] black [expletive] that he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying.

Cole backed up his team-mate and said he thought Ferdinand may have used the word 'black' during a verbal exchange with Terry.

But according to the FA commission's written reasons published today, Cole did not mention the word 'black' in the initial interview with the FA on October 28.

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

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

After Terry was cleared in magistrates court in July, Rio Ferdinand appeared to endorse a tweet describing Cole, who also gave evidence in Terry's defense in court, as a 'choc ice' - a slang term suggesting someone is black on the outside and white on the inside.

Ferdinand tweeted: 'I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahaha!!'

The Manchester United defender was fined £45,000 by the FA over the tweet, for improper conduct.

Meanwhile, it is understood that England manager Roy Hodgson spoke to Cole this
afternoon following his outburst and apology, and that the Chelsea defender will
be joining up with the national squad as planned on Monday.

Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo had said "that's for Roy Hodgson to decide'' when asked whether Cole should still be picked for England.

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