Football: Ashley Cole was charged with misconduct by the FA today for his foul-mouthed outburst on Twitter and he may miss out on winning his 99th England cap against San Marino on Friday.
The left-back called the FA a “bunch of twats” after the governing body’s independent regulatory commission investigating the John Terry racial abuse case cast doubt on his evidence.
A statement on the FA’s website read: “Chelsea FC’s Ashley Cole has been charged by The FA in relation to a Twitter comment which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.”
Cole has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge, a little over a day before England face San Marino in a World Cup qualifier.
The Chelsea defender will most probably be rested when England face a side ranked second from bottom (207th) in the Fifa world rankings.
Cole’s services should not be required for Roy Hodgson’s men to see off the minnows, though former Newcastle United striker and television pundit Alan Shearer had suggested that Cole should be banned from playing in the match.
Cole responded by retweeting the following message: “Alan Shearer says @TheRealAC3 needs to be banned for comments. I want his opinion on bans for kicking Neil Lennon in the head. #GlassHouses”.
This was a reference to Shearer kicking the ex-Leicester City midfielder and current Celtic manager in the head in a 1998 incident.
The likelihood is that Cole will only be fined by the FA, though his club Chelsea are also set to take action, as manager Roberto di Matteo outlined at the weekend.
Di Matteo 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.’’
The Italian added: “The image of the club is very important to us of course.
“We have rules, and anybody who breaks the rules faces disciplinary action against them.
“We strive to have high standards and hopefully, going forward, we can be better at showing those.
“I come from Switzerland so I like rules, and rules are there to be respected.
“I wouldn’t say I’m a disciplinarian but, when you live and work in a group environment, you need rules to be able to live together and work together.’’
A fine from his club, as well as from the FA, could see Cole shell out around a quarter of a million pounds — more than Terry was fined by the governing body after he was found guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.