FA charges Ferdinand

'Choc ice' Tweet punishment for United defender

Rio Ferdinand: The centre-back has until Thursday to respond to the charge

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The Football Association has announced Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been charged with improper conduct over comments he posted on Twitter after the John Terry racism trial.

In the aftermath of the trial, when Terry was acquitted of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, Anton, the Manchester United defender responded to a Tweet that characterised Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, who was a defence witness in the trial, 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.

Terry is facing a charge from the FA for the incident, which he denies, and English football's governing body has also decided to charge Ferdinand for his Tweet.

"The FA has today charged Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand with improper conduct in relation to comments posted on Twitter," said an FA statement.

"The allegation 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."

Ferdinand has until 4pm on Thursday to respond to the charge.