1. ITV Report

Ashley Cole apologises after criticising FA

shley Cole made an astonishing response on Twitter to criticism of his role in the John Terry racism case Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Ashley Cole today apologised unreservedly for his outburst at the Football Association over his role in the John Terry racism case.

The independent Football Association regulatory commission said there were discrepancies in Cole's initial statement to FA interviewers of what he heard Anton Ferdinand say to Terry compared to a later statement.

Ashley Cole's outburst at the FA Credit: ITV News

Cole responded on his official Twitter account saying: "Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFT****"."

It was retweeted more than 19,000 times before he deleted it.

In a statement released this afternoon, Cole said: "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."

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 involvement surrounded Terry's claim that he had only been repeating the words "f****** 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.

John Terry was acquitted at Westminster Magistrates Court in July Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire/Press Association Images

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".

It is understood that England manager Roy Hodgson spoke to Cole this afternoon following his outburst and apology, and that the Chelsea defender will be joining up with the national squad as planned on Monday.

Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo had said "That's for Roy Hodgson to decide" when asked whether Cole should still be picked for England.