Rio Ferdinand denies FA's improper conduct charge
LONDON (AP) - Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on Thursday denied an English Football Association (FA) charge of improper conduct over a Twitter comment he made about Chelsea rival Ashley Cole.
The FA said in a statement that Ferdinand has requested a personal hearing in the case.
Ferdinand's remark followed a racism trial last month in which Cole's teammate John Terry was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, Queens Park Rangers defender Anton, during a Premier League match last October.
Cole, who along with the Ferdinands is black, appeared in court as a defence witness. Ferdinand later seemed to endorse a tweet describing Cole as a "choc ice", a slang term perceived as meaning black on the outside and white on the inside.
Ferdinand tweeted: "I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahaha!!" Ferdinand later tweeted that it was "not a racist term. It's a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake." Cole said he didn't plan to complain.
The FA said the allegation facing Ferdinand 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."