• Manchester United defender defends 'choc ice' tweet
• Ferdinand tweets 'what I said yesterday is not a racist term'
The fallout from John Terry's court case rumbled on this morning when Rio Ferdinand provided what is believed to be a defence of yesterday's controversial tweet, in which he reacted laughingly to the description of Ashley Cole as a "choc ice" on Twitter, prompting the Chelsea's left-back's lawyers to issue a statement on their client's behalf.
Cole acted as a defence witness for his club-mate Terry, who was on Friday cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, Anton. The term "choc ice", commonly understood to mean "black on the outside, white on the inside", was used in reference to Cole in a tweet sent to Rio Ferdinand.
"Looks like Ashley Cole's going to be their choc ice," it read. "Then again he's always been a sell out. Shame on him."
Ferdinand responded in a tweet: "I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!"
But with his response, which can no longer be seen on the Manchester United defender's Twitter page, having provoked considerable criticism, Ferdinand took to Twitter again this morning in what appears to be a bid to defend it. "What I said yesterday is not a racist term," he tweeted. "Its a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake. So there."
The Manchester United defender has played dozens of times for England with Cole, who described himself at Terry's trial as a long-standing friend of the Ferdinand brothers. Cole told the court that Terry was not a racist.
Rio Ferdinand's original "choc ice" tweet generated sizeable reaction, prompting him to return to Twitter to write: "And if I want to laugh at something someone tweets....I will! Hahahahaha! Now stop getting ya knickers in a twist!"
Yesterday's episode drew a response from Cole's lawyers: "Ashley Cole has been made aware of the discussion following comments appearing on Twitter and wishes to make it clear that he and Rio Ferdinand are good friends and Ashley has no intention of making any sort of complaint. Ashley appreciates that tweeting is so quick it often results in off-hand and stray comments." They have yet to comment on Ferdinand's latest tweet.
Terry could face a Football Association disrepute charge despite being cleared in court. Lord Herman Ouseley, chair of the anti-racism group Kick It Out, told the Observer: "I am worried that this is a defining moment for the FA, to show it is a governing body prepared to keep to a high standard on the racism issue. If this incident, and the racial element of it, is not seen to be dealt with properly, there is the potential for black players to lose confidence in the authorities and withdraw their support for anti-racism campaigns." Read More
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