LONDON: The racist comments controversy from last season has rumbled on, on eve of the new Premier League season, with Rio Ferdinand being fined £45,000 by the Football Asssociation over the fall-out.

The veteran Manchester United central defender was found guilty of improper conduct in relation to a comment posted on Twitter.

The 33-year-old defender had denied the charge and requested a personal hearing with the Football Association over the affair, which related to his apparent endorsement of a comment to which he responded, describing Cole as a ‘choc ice’.

“The commission decided that the comment was improper and brought the game into disrepute,” the FA said in a statement. “In addition, the commission found that the breach included a reference to ethnic origin, colour or race.”

The term, commonly understood to mean ‘black on the outside, white on the inside’, was tweeted after Cole’s testimony in the trial of John Terry, during which he told the court he had not heard his Chelsea team-mate make a racist comment to QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, Rio’s brother.

Terry was later found not guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence by Westminster magistrates’ court. He faces a disciplinary charge from the FA.