LONDON: Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand has been charged by the Football Association over the comments he made on Twitter after  John Terry’s recent trial.

In the aftermath, when Terry was acquitted of racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Anton, the Manchester United defender responded to a Tweet that characterised Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, who was a defence witness in the trial, as a ‘choc-ice’.

The term is is commonly understood to mean ‘black on the outside, white on the inside’, and was a reference to Cole’s testimony in court, in which he said he never heard Terry make a racist remark to Ferdinand during the match in question at Loftus Road in October.

A statement on the governing body’s website reads: “The FA has today charged Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand with improper conduct in relation to comments posted on Twitter.

“The allegation is that the player acted in a way which was improper and/or bought the game into disrepute by making comments which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race.”

The 33-year-old, currently on tour with United in the Far East, had declined to go on the record about the fall-out from the recent court case, but insisted that, despite the risk of sparking controversy and suffering personal abuse, he would not retreat from Twitter.

“Anyone who says they’re thinking of going on Twitter, I always say ‘You’ve got to have a thick skin’,” Ferdinand said. “You’ve got to be able to take abuse. If you can’t take abuse, then it’s not the place for you to be on there.

“You have Liverpool fans, Manchester City fans, obviously now Chelsea fans, who seem to follow me and come on there just to abuse me, but I’m not a—-.

“I’ve said it before, but that kind of stuff is like fuel. You use that stuff, so when you play their team, there’s a little bit more rivalry about the game.

Ferdinand has until 4pm on Aug 2nd to respond to the charge.

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