Football: Ferdinand denies FA charge

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has denied a Football Association (FA) charge of improper conduct following comments he made on Twitter at the end of the John Terry racism trial.

Following the trial, in which Chelsea and England defender Terry was acquitted of racially abusing Ferdinand's younger brother Anton, Rio responded to a Tweet that described Chelsea defender and defence witness Ashley Cole as a "choc-ice".

The term is commonly understood to mean "black on the outside, white on the inside," and was a reference to Cole's testimony in court, in which he said he never heard Terry make a racist remark to Ferdinand during the match in question at Loftus Road in October.

Ferdinand was charged on Monday and had until Thursday afternoon to respond to the FA.

A statement issued on the FA's website, www.thefa.com, read: "Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand has today denied an FA charge of improper conduct in relation to comments posted on Twitter.

"The allegation is that the player acted in a way which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute by making comments which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race.

"The player has requested a personal hearing."

Terry, 31, was found not guilty earlier this month after a five-day trial at Westminster Magistrates Court but the FA has since charged Terry in relation to the same case.

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