LONDON: Ashley Cole is the latest high-profile English footballer to create his own ‘Twittergate’ storm after an offensively-phrased diatribe at the Football Association on his social network account.
Cole reacted with a furious tweet after his evidence in the John Terry racist comment case was treated with scepticism in a review of the case and disciplinary action against the Chelsea captain by the an independent FA regulatory commission.
It claimed there were discrepancies in Cole’s initial statement to FA interviewers of what he heard QPR’s Anton Ferdinand say to Terry in the infamous incident last October, compared with a later statement.
Cole responded on his official Twitter account on Friday afternoon: “Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFTW*TS”. Within hours he issued an “unreserved apology” to the FA through his solicitor.
Whether this preserves hisEnglandpresence againstSan Marinoat Wembley next Friday remains open to question.
The Chelsea and England full-back’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.
Cole’s outburst became public knowledge just as Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo was involved in a press conference ahead of the weekend matches.
Asked for his reaction, 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 “f***ing black c***” 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 defence 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.
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