Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole has been charged by the Football Association in relation to a Twitter comment which was "improper and/or brought the game into disrepute", the governing body has confirmed.
Ashley Cole has apologised for posting an offensive Tweet about the Football Association. In a statement released by his solicitors, he said that he apologised unreservedly for his outburst, saying that the message had been posted "in the heat of the moment".
The Chelsea and England full-back had directed foul language against the FA in response to criticism of his role in the John Terry racism case. The FA commission that handed Terry a four match ban had accused Cole of discrepancies in his evidence.
Chelsea said Cole did not accept the criticism made of him by the commission. A club statement said: "Ashley co-operated at all times with the FA and stands by the evidence that he gave and does not accept the criticism that has been made."
Cole has deleted his offensive tweet, but it has already been re-tweeted more than 19,000 times.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo insisted he did not believe Terry capable of discrimination.
Di Matteo said:
"From my judgment on this man, I've known him for many, many years since we played together."I've never had any doubt about the fact that his comments wouldn't be of any kind of discrimination against any kind of ethnic party."
A Chelsea spokesman said: "As we said last week we recognise that John has the right to appeal.
"In view of this it would be inappropriate for us to comment further on the matter at this time."
The Football Association panel that banned Chelsea Captain John Terry for four games and fined him £220,000 for using racist language towards QPR defender Anton Ferdinand has said that it is quite satisfied that his words were intended as an insult.
The independent commission has released in writing the full reasons behind the decision to censure Terry, despite the fact that he'd been cleared of any wrongdoing in court.
It said that there was "no credible basis" for Terry's defence that he had only been repeating words he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying.
The Commission said: "We are quite satisfied, and find on the balance of probabilities, that the offending words were said by way of insult.
"We are able to arrive at that decision without needing to make any adverse findings against Mr Terry arising out of his decision not to give evidence.
"Accordingly, the Commission finds that there is 'clear and convincing' evidence'."
Terry has two weeks to appeal against the decision.