Rio Ferdinand to fight FA charge over Ashley Cole ‘choc ice’ tweet
By Chris Bascombe / Daily Telegraph - LONDON
03rd August 2012 12:15 PM
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has denied a Football Association charge of improper conduct following comments he made on Twitter at the end of the John Terry trial.
In the aftermath of last month’s trial, when Terry was acquitted of racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother, Anton, the United defender responded to a tweet that characterised Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, who was a defence witness, as a “choc ice”.
The term is commonly understood to mean black on the outside, white on the inside, and was a reference to Cole’s testimony in court, in which he said he never heard Terry make a racist remark to Ferdinand during the match in question at Loftus Road in October.
Ferdinand was charged on Monday and had until 4pm yesterday to respond to the FA.
Meanwhile, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has strenuously denied suggestions he will make any financial gain from the controversial share sale plans of the Glazer family.
Ferguson says claims that he has publicly praised United’s ownership because he can reap economic rewards from their scheme is “an insult”.
Sections of United’s support raised concerns that the ownership intend to pocket some of the profits from floating 10.2 per cent of shares on the New York Stock Exchange.
Although £150 million will be raised, it has emerged only half will be used to help pay off a £437 million club debt.
Ferguson said in a statement: “In regards to suggestions that I have praised the Glazer Family because I stand to financially benefit from the proposed IPO [Initial Public Offering], there is not a single grain of truth in this allegation.
“I do not receive any payments, directly or indirectly, from the IPO.
“My decisions and beliefs are not based around what is best for my personal financial gain. That is an accusation that insults me. If that was the case, I would have left Old Trafford a long time ago.
“I am speaking out because I do not want a situation to develop whereby the media and other parties create a rift, however small, between myself and any Manchester United fan.”
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