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Chelsea’s Cole Charged by F.A. Over Tweet Following Terry Ruling

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole has been charged by England’s Football Association following comments he made on social networking site Twitter.

Cole used an abusive term to refer to the governing body Oct. 5 after it published a 63-page report detailing why an independent panel found the 31-year-old’s Chelsea teammate John Terry guilty of racially abusing a rival player. The commission raised questions about a statement Cole provided in support of Terry.

“Chelsea FC’s Ashley Cole has been charged by the F.A. in relation to a Twitter comment which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute,” read a statement posted on the governing body’s website.

The England defender has until 4 p.m. on Oct. 11 to respond to the charge. He deleted the posting about an hour after it was posted, and issued an apology through his lawyer.

Terry received a four-game suspension and a 220,000 pound ($353,000) fine after the panel found that he had racially insulted Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand at a game last October.

Terry was cleared by a London court of racially abusing Ferdinand on July 13. Cole, who is of mixed race heritage, was called as a witness. The burden of proof required in the criminal case was higher than the “balance of probabilities” used to guide F.A. hearings.

Terry’s defense that he had not racially insulted the QPR defender was “improbable, implausible and contrived,” the commission said.

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