Police are investigating an alleged racist comment made on Twitter against footballer Ashley Cole. A user - thought to live in Derbyshire - referred to the Chelsea star Cole as a 'choc ice'.
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand replied: "I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahaha!!". Derbyshire Police are investigating the original tweet.
A spokeswoman for Greater Manchester Police said the force was not investigating the comments made by Ferdinand.
The FA could step in to attempt to diffuse a Twitter row that is threatening to drive a wedge between senior England football players.
The Telegraph reports that the Football Association will contact the players involved - likely to include John Terry, Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand - to prevent the row continuing into the next Premier League season.
Rio Ferdinand has travelled to South Africa with Manchester United ahead of their pre season tour which also sees them play in China, Norway, Sweden and Germany.
Rio Ferdinand returned to Twitter this morning to defend his comments.
What I said yesterday is not a racist term. Its a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake. So there.
Ashley Cole issued this statement through his lawyers:
– Statement issued through Ashley Cole's lawyers
"Ashley Cole has been made aware of the discussion following comments appearing on Twitter and wishes to make it clear that he and Rio Ferdinand are good friends and Ashley has no intention of making any sort of complaint.
"Ashley appreciates that Tweeting is so quick it often results in off-hand and stray comments."
As Twitter users began discussing Ashley Cole being called a 'choc ice' and reacted to Rio Ferdinand's response to the jibe.
Ferdinand wrote: "And if I want to laugh at something someone tweets....I will! Hahahahaha! Now stop getting ya knickers in a twist!"
Rio Ferdinand has reignited the racism row in football after Ashley Cole was attacked on Twitter and called a 'choc ice' and the Manchester United defender appeared to endorse the comment.
The person wrote: "Looks like Ashley Cole's going to be their choc ice.
"Then again he's always been a sell out. Shame on him."
Ferdinand replied: "I hear you fella! "Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!"
It has since been deleted.
The jibe comes a day after Chelsea skipper John Terry was found not guilty of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother Anton.
Terry's teammate Cole was a defence witness.