Football Association chairman David Bernstein has revealed that Ashley Cole apologised to him personally last night over his offensive Twitter message.
Bernstein also stressed that England manager Roy Hodgson will decide whether the Chelsea full-back plays against San Marino in Friday's World Cup qualifier.
Cole was yesterday charged with misconduct by the FA over his Twitter outburst on Friday when he referred to the governing body as a "bunch of t****" in response to the independent regulatory commission's damning judgement on his evidence in the John Terry racial abuse verdict.
Bernstein, speaking to Radio 5 Live ahead of Tuesday's official opening of the National Football Centre at St George's Park in Burton, revealed that Cole had followed up his apology to the FA on Friday with a personal apology last night.
"He apologised immediately on Friday and he came to see me last night and apologised to me personally," said Bernstein.
"He showed real contrition. He said he was really sorry.
"He is free to play for England over the coming matches. It is up to the manager to decide whether he plays or not."
Cole was given until 4pm on Thursday to respond to yesterday's FA charge. the timing far from ideal given the deadline is barely 24 hours before England face San Marino at Wembley.
With Bernstein confirming it is up to Hodgson to decide whether or not to play Cole, the only threat to his chances of winning a 99th cap would appear to be if the England manager opts to rest him ahead of the crucial trip to Poland four days later.
Bernstein was convinced Cole's apology was heart-felt.
He told Sky Sports News: "It was a serious apology. He expressed a degree of remorse for what he had done, wished it hadn't happened.
"I looked him in the eye and really felt that he meant it."
Bernstein admitted, though, that the Chelsea full-back's actions meant he was unlikely to captain England for what could be his 100th cap against Poland next Tuesday.
Asked about the possibility of Cole being given the armband to mark the occasion, Bernstein said: "To be absolutely honest I doubt it. We've expressed a view on what we need with regard to a captain and I doubt it, but we'll see.
"We've had issues and we've stated publicly many times that we have a very high level of behaviour and so on and so forth required from an English captain."
Bernstein also revealed the FA will not appeal the punishment handed to Terry by the independent regulatory commission.
"The FA I believe will not be appealing it," he said. "But the thing is still under possible appeal therefore I do not want to talk about the John Terry thing at all.
"It's not over yet and John Terry has a right of appeal himself."
The FA chief hailed the St George's Park complex as key to the future of football in England.
He said: "I actually stood by the pitch yesterday and watched the first team training for the first time here and I must say it was a wonderful experience to see Roy Hodgson and the squad working here.
"We expect to get a huge amount out of this, probably first and foremost the development of more and better coaches. We have good coaches in this country, but we need many many more and this will be a centre driven to produce better coaching.
"It's a multi-faceted site, but it should make a huge impact on English football over a period a time.
"Having the England team here is inspirational and I think what we want to see is other teams working here at the same time and not training with them but training alongside them."