Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been charged by the Football Association for comments he made on Twitter about England and Chelsea defender Ashley Cole.
The comments on the social networking site, which were in response to a message from a follower, came after the trial of Cole’s teammate John Terry, who was acquitted of racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother Anton.
United star Ferdinand 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.
The 33-year-old, who defended his use of the site, has now been hit with an FA charge.
In a statement, the FA said: “The allegation is that the player acted in a way which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute by making comments which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race.”
Ferdinand has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.