Chelsea star in angry Twitter attack at FA
13:12 05 October 2012
Ashley Cole has taken to Twitter to voice his outrage after the Football Association questioned his integrity.
The England full back gave a statement in court defending Chelsea team-mate John Terry during his trial for using a racial slur towards QPR’s Anton Ferdinand – the Blues skipper was found guilty by Westminster Magistrates Court.
However, the FA found Terry guilty in a second hearing, banning him for four games and fining him £220,000.
And after the independent Football Association regulatory commission published reasons for their guilty verdict, Cole became angered at claims that his statement was unreliable.
“Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I,#BUNCHOFTWATS,” Cole tweeted.
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo was informed of Cole’s tweet during his pre-match press conference.
When asked if his players were out of control, he said: “We’ll look at the tweet and then we’ll see.
“I don’t think the players are out of control. I need to see the reasoning behind it.”
Asked for his thoughts on social network Twitter, he said: “It’s a good vehicle if used appropriately. I think players need to realise that tweets can be viewed by anybody and they have to be responsible.”
The independent FA regulatory commission’s statement read: “These highly material issues relating to Mr Cole’s evidence were not addressed by the Chief Magistrate - he clearly did not have the interview notes of the FA’s interviewers, or Mr Barnard’s statement before him - and they do not appear in his judgment.
“Accordingly, that material can and should properly be regarded as cogent new evidence.
“Had it been before him, the commission has no doubt that the Chief Magistrate would have examined Mr Cole’s evidence as to what he claims he heard Mr Ferdinand say to Mr Terry on the pitch very carefully indeed, or scrutinised it even more closely than he may have done.”
It adds: “All of this causes the commission to have very real concerns about the accuracy of Mr Barnard’s recollections, and the motivation for the assertions that he makes in his witness statement about what Mr Cole said during the FA interview of him, particularly his alleged use of the word ‘black’.”
Cole later deleted his offensive tweet, but only after it was re-tweeted more than 19,000 times.