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Pair spoken to about racist football tweets

Ashley Cole and Ashley Young were both singled out Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Gloucestershire Police has spoken to two teenage boys after racist tweets were sent during England's Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat by Italy.

Manchester United winger Ashley Young and Chelsea defender Ashley Cole were singled out for abuse on Twitter after they missed penalty kicks during the match on June 24.

A 13-year-old boy from Gloucester and a 15-year-old boy from Tewkesbury admitted writing tweets in which they used offensive words in reference to England players.

Gloucestershire Police said while the boys had written tweets about Cole and Young, they were not responsible for those that made national headlines following the match, which are being investigated by the Metropolitan Police.

The 13-year-old boy attended a police station on Tuesday with his father and was spoken to under caution. He admitted he was responsible for the tweets and said he was remorseful for his actions.

A police spokeswoman said the boy will have a meeting with the Superintendent for the area, who will further explain to him the consequences of his actions. He will also be warned that any similar actions in the future could result in criminal proceedings.

Officers also met with a 15-year-old, who also admitted posting tweets and expressed remorse. He will be issued with a formal warning as he has previously been arrested for offences, although these were not racism related, the spokeswoman said.

Both teenagers have since deactivated their Twitter accounts and will be asked to write a letter of apology to the players.

Superintendent Gary Thompson said: "We will not tolerate any form of racism in the county no matter how it is committed, be it in person or via social media sites such as Twitter.

"The individuals involved have been spoken to about the content of their tweets and given strong words of advice about their behaviour."