Soccer

Ashley Cole charged by FA for vulgar tweet

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LONDON (AP)

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole was charged by England's Football Association with misconduct Monday after criticizing the governing body in a vulgar Twitter post, adding to the fallout from a yearlong racism case involving teammate John Terry.

The England left back reacted angrily Friday after an FA commission questioned the evidence he gave in defending Terry against a charge of racially abusing an opponent.

The FA said the charge relates ''to a Twitter comment which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.''

Cole, who faces a fine, has until Thursday to respond to the charge. He has already issued an apology through his lawyers and deleted the tweet, which read: ''Hahahahaa, well done (hash)fa I lied did I,'' followed by a vulgar expression.

Chelsea is also set to fine Cole, with manager Roberto Di Matteo saying the club has launched disciplinary action over the tweet.

Cole is currently on national-team duty with England ahead of World Cup qualifiers against San Marino on Friday and Poland next Tuesday. If he plays in both games, he will become the sixth player to make 100 appearances for England.

He backed up Terry's defense that a racial slur toward Anton Ferdinand in a Premier League match in October last year was only used to counter an accusation of racism Terry claimed Ferdinand was leveling at him.

Cole told Terry's criminal trial in July that he believed he heard Ferdinand use the word ''black'' during the confrontation - something the QPR player denied saying. Terry was cleared of the criminal charges but found guilty by the FA commission.

In its written judgment released Friday, the commission said Cole did not mention the word ''black'' in the initial interview with them after the match and accused him of evolving his evidence.

He is the second player to face an FA charge for tweeting about Terry's racism case. Rio Ferdinand was previously fined 45,000 pounds (then $71,000) after being found guilty of referencing ethic origin and race when he re-tweeted a user's comment that referred to Cole as a ''choc ice,'' a slang term perceived as meaning black on the outside and white on the inside.

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