FA likely to move against Cole over scathing tweet
THE FOOTBALL Association is expected to charge Ashley Cole with misconduct in the next 24 hours for branding the governing body a “bunch of twats” on his Twitter account.
Cole’s comment came after the full findings of an independent regulatory commission report into the John Terry racism affair cast serious doubt on the evidence he had supplied on behalf of the Chelsea captain. The tweet, apparently sent while he underwent treatment after training, was subsequently deleted and a public apology issued through his solicitors. But, regardless, the FA’s governance department will launch an investigation into the matter.
While there is no mandatory method of sanction for such an offence, a guilty verdict is likely to incur a fine rather than a ban, as was the case when Rio Ferdinand was fined £45,000 (€58,000) for retweeting a message in which a follower had called Cole a “choc ice” after Terry had been acquitted at Westminster Magistrates’ Court in July.
The left-back should discover whether he is to be charged after he has joined up with Roy Hodgson’s England squad to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.
Chelsea have opened their own disciplinary proceedings against Cole after he breached the club’s code of conduct on social media. Manager Roberto Di Matteo said “there is going to be disciplinary action over the tweet”.
That should amount to a two-week fine, about £240,000, and it remains to be seen how the matter affects Cole’s negotiations over a new deal. He is out of contract next summer, with talks to date having failed to reach agreement over an extension.
The full-back has 98 caps for his country, though he may have to wait until next year to complete his century with Hodgson having long been considering his omission from Friday’s game against San Marino amid familiar concerns over the state of the full-back’s ankle. The second game of the international double-header, against Poland in Warsaw, is the more daunting fixture and, therefore, a game in which Cole’s involvement would be considered more important. Should the 31-year-old sit out the game at Wembley, he would most likely go into 2013 still attempting to become the sixth England player to complete a century of appearances for the national side.