Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea star Ashley Cole labels FA a 'bunch of twats' in Twitter rant after his evidence in John Terry trial is questioned

Ashley Cole has hit back at an FA panel, seemingly calling them 'a bunch of twats', after it was claimed his evidence had been changed in the John Terry racism trial.

Earlier today, the FA published its written reasons for finding Terry guilty of insulting Anton Ferdinand during a match between Chelsea and QPR at Loftus Road last season.

The Chelsea captain was banned for four-matches and fined £220,000 after the FA found Terry's defence that he had not racially insulted the QPR defender was “improbable, implausible and contrived”.

In the written reasons, Cole's statement supporting Terry's version was questioned by the commission.

In response, the former Arsenal defender took to Twitter. "Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFTWATS," he wrote.

Terry had been cleared in Westminster Magistrates Court in July of a racially-aggravated public order offence, partly helped by the testimony of England and Chelsea team-mate Cole.

However, the commission found that there were discrepancies in Cole's initial statement to FA interviewers of what he heard Ferdinand say to Terry compared to later statements.

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".

The commission said: "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'."

Chelsea would not comment on the contents of the written reasons.

A Chelsea spokesman said: "As we said last week we recognise that John has the right to appeal.

"In view of this it would be inappropriate for us to comment further on the matter at this time."

Cole is in the current England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland - which if he features in both games, will see him reach 100 caps.

But today's response could put his England future in jeopardy. Terry retired from international duty in relation to the case, saying his position had been made 'untenable'. Considering Cole's tweet, he may feel the same is true of his own position.

Belfast Telegraph


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