Chelsea to discipline Cole over tweet

Sat, Oct 6, 2012, 01:00

Soccer:Ashley Cole is facing disciplinary action from both Chelsea and the English Football Association over his foul-mouthed Twitter rant at the game’s governing body.

Blues and England defender Cole called the FA a “bunch of twats” yesterday after he was accused of “evolving” his statement supporting John Terry’s defence against the charge he racially abused Anton Ferdinand.

He looks likely to be hit with an FA charge over the outburst and Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo confirmed this evening the left back would also be punished by his club.

The Italian said: “We’ve got a social media policy at the club and there’s going to be a disciplinary process action against the tweet and that’s how I’ll leave it.”

Chelsea refused to confirm the nature of any punishment but it could be a two-week fine, which would cost Cole in the region of €250,000.

Di Matteo revealed he had discussed the matter with the 31-year-old, adding: “You would understand that’s a private conservation.”

Cole apologised “unreservedly” on Friday for his outburst, insisting he posted it in “the heat of the moment”.

The FA refused to comment this afternoon on whether they would take action against Cole, but their own ‘charging guidelines’ in media comments and social networking cases are clear.

A breach of the rules includes: “Comments which are improper, which bring the game into disrepute, which are threatening, abusive, indecent or insulting.”

Cole deleted the tweet but the FA guidelines add: “Deleting an inappropriate posting, whilst advisable, does not necessarily prevent disciplinary action being taken.”

Several players have been punished for offensive tweets in recent times, including Rio Ferdinand for retweeting a comment describing Cole as a “choc-ice”.

Despite the number of high-profile controversies, Di Matteo was not in favour of banning his players from using Twitter.

“I’m in favour of social-media entities,” he said. “They just have to be used sensibly. But I’m not against it. It’s in the world we live in and, as long as it’s used with responsibility, I think it’s a good way to communicate.”

Cole was also not the first Chelsea player to fall foul of the club’s social-media policy.

Di Matteo added: “If they breach a rule that we have, there are going to be some consequences. We have rules, and if they break them then there is a consequence.”

Despite the furore, Cole started Chelsea’s Premier League win over Norwich this afternoon, as did captain Terry, who was today still considering whether to appeal the guilty verdict in his FA racist abuse case.

Asked if he had to check either was in a fit state to start, Di Matteo said: “I speak to my players all the time. It’s not just because of these issues. There haven’t been any special talks.”

The Italian insisted he had no hesitation picking either player, adding: “No, because I judge them on what I see on the training ground and in the games.

“When they’re there, they are fully focused and professional and that’s how I pick my team.”

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