Ferdinand reignites Terry race row with 'choc ice' tweet

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand (shown during a match at Old Trafford in April) has reignited the John Terry race row by defending a tweet accusing Terry's Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole of being a "choc ice"

Rio Ferdinand has reignited the John Terry race row Sunday by defending a tweet labelling Terry's Chelsea teammate Ashley Cole a "choc ice".

Chelsea captain Terry was found not guilty of racially abusing rival player Anton Ferdinand, Rio's brother, during a match in October at the end of a trial in London on Friday.

On Saturday, Rio Ferdinand responded to a comment sent to his Twitter account which referred to Cole, a defence witness in the trial, as a "choc ice".

The tweeter wrote: "Looks like Ashley Cole's going to be their (Chelsea's) choc ice. Then again he's always been a sell out. Shame on him."

The choc ice term is widely understood to mean black on the outside, white on the inside. Cole, 31, had told the trial that Terry, his Stamford Bridge captain and friend, was not racist.

Rio Ferdinand replied with a tweet which read: "I hear you fella!

"Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!"

On Sunday, Rio Ferdinand defended his comment, tweeting: "What I said yesterday is not a racist term. Its a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake. So there."

Cole Saturday issued a statement through his lawyers which read: "Ashley Cole has been made aware of the discussion following comments appearing on Twitter and wishes to make it clear that he and Rio Ferdinand are good friends and Ashley has no intention of making any sort of complaint.

"Ashley appreciates that Tweeting is so quick it often results in off-hand and stray comments."

Terry may yet face disciplinary action from the Football Association (FA) following the allegations of race abuse.