Cole sorry after outburst
Ashley Cole has apologised unreservedly for his foul-mouthed outburst at the Football Association over his role in the John Terry racism case.
The independent Football Association regulatory commission said there were discrepancies in Cole's initial statement to FA interviewers of what he heard Anton Ferdinand say to Terry compared to a later statement.
Cole responded on his official Twitter account saying: "Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFT****"." It was re-tweeted more than 19,000 times before he deleted it.
In a statement released on Friday afternoon, Cole said: "I had just finished training and saw the captions on the TV screens in the treatment rooms about what was said in the FA Commission ruling about me. I was really upset and tweeted my feelings in the heat of the moment. I apologise unreservedly for my comment about the FA."
Cole, who has 98 caps for England, put a question mark over his future with the national team after his Twitter outburst. The FA have not responded but Press Association Sport understands that Cole has no intention of calling time on his England career - he is in the squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland.
The Chelsea and England full-back's evidence proved crucial to Terry in his acquittal at Westminster Magistrates' Court in July, but the FA commission last week banned Terry for four matches for racially abusing Ferdinand.
Cole's involvement surrounded Terry's claim that he had only been repeating the words "f***ing black c***" that he thought Ferdinand had accused him of saying. Cole backed up his team-mate and said he thought Ferdinand may have used the word 'black' during a verbal exchange with Terry.
But according to the FA commission's written reasons, Cole did not mention the word 'black' in the initial interview with the FA on October 28. On November 3, Chelsea club secretary David Barnard asked the FA for the specific word 'black' to be inserted into Cole's witness statement, suggesting that Cole may have heard Ferdinand use the term. The commission saw an email exchange between the FA and Barnard and said that should be regarded as "cogent new evidence".
Chelsea said Cole did not accept the criticism made of him by the commission. A club statement said: "Ashley co-operated at all times with the FA and stands by the evidence that he gave and does not accept the criticism that has been made." The club added that they stand by Barnard completely and that he acted with complete integrity throughout the process.
Cole could face disciplinary action from the FA, who have yet to respond, and from Chelsea for breaching the club's social media policy. A Chelsea spokesman added: "We would prefer that everyone takes the club's lead on this issue and holds any comment they have until an appropriate time, and that would be when we find out if there's going to be an appeal process."