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Cole risks sanction over FA criticism

October 05, 2012


English Premier League, epl, football, john terry, ashley cole, cole tweet, cole twitter
Chelsea's defender John Terry (L) warms up with team-mate Ashley Cole (R) ahead of the English Premier League match. -Photo by AFP

PARIS: Chelsea defender Ashley Cole on Friday risked a Football Association sanction and his England team place after strongly criticizing the governing body's ruling into the John Terry-Anton Ferdinand racism case.

Cole hit out after the FA published a 63-page written judgment on its website into the disciplinary case against his Stamford Bridge team-mate that saw him banned for four matches and fined 22,000 pounds ($356,722, 276,000 euros).

The ruling highlights what it said were “issues and inconsistencies” in Cole's evidence about what he initially said he heard QPR defender Ferdinand say to Terry and his later statements.

On his Twitter account, @TheRealAC3, he wrote: “Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFTWATS.”

Cole later deleted his offensive tweet, but only after it was re-tweeted more than 19,000 times, and then made a full apology for his outburst.

“I had just finished training and saw the captions on the TV screens in the treatment rooms about what was said in the FA Commission ruling about me.

“I was really upset and tweeted my feelings in the heat of the moment. I apologise unreservedly for my comment about the FA,” a statement issued by the player declared.

Terry, who has 14 days to appeal the ruling, was cleared in a criminal case of a racially aggravated public order offence for allegedly using a racial slur against Ferdinand during Chelsea's match away to QPR at Loftus Road on October 23 last year.

The FA ban will not come into force until the appeals procedure is complete.

The ruling states that Terry's defence that he had not racially abused Ferdinand was “improbable, implausible and contrived” and there was “no credible basis” for him to say that he had only repeated words that he thought Ferdinand had claimed he said.

Instead, the independent panel ruled that they were satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the former England captain intended the words to be an insult.

Terry, 31, has previously said he was disappointed by the FA ruling and announced his retirement from international football, arguing that by pursuing a disciplinary case after he had been cleared by a court, his future selection was “untenable”.