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Cole Sorry Over Terry Race Abuse FA Tweet
Ashley Cole has aplogised for criticising the Football Association after it concluded John Terry's insistence he had not racially insulted Anton Ferdinand was "improbable, implausible and contrived".
An independent FA regulatory commission had released its detailed findings for the first time since its decision to ban Chelsea skipper Terry for four matches.
Cole took to his Twitter page after the report questioned the reliability of his evidence in support of teammate Terry.
Cole wrote: "Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFT***S."
He later apologised for the comment, which was re-tweeted more than 19,000 times before he deleted it.
In a statement released through his solicitor, 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."
It is understood that Cole has since spoken to England manager Roy Hodgson and will remain in the national squad for forthcoming games.
The commission said there was "no credible basis" for Terry's claim he had only been repeating words he thought QPR defender Ferdinand had accused him of saying.
While accepting he "is not a racist", the commission also said they were satisfied the words "f***ing black c***" were intended as an insult by Terry.
"There are further aspects of Mr Terry's defence that the commission finds improbable, implausible and contrived, and which serve to underline and reinforce our decision," the commission stated.
"The commission is quite satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that there is no credible basis for Mr Terry's defence that his use of the words 'f****** black c***' were directed at Mr Ferdinand by way of forceful rejection and/or inquiry.
"Instead, we are quite satisfied, and find on the balance of probabilities, that the offending words were said by way of insult."
While querying Cole's statement supporting Terry's version, the commission also cast doubt on the role played by a Chelsea club official.
Terry had been cleared in Westminster Magistrates' Court in July of a racially-aggravated public order offence, partly helped by the testimony of Cole.
But the commission found 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.
" ... The commission (has) 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'."
Ferdinand had suffered "hateful abuse" as a result of the case but had acted with dignity, said the report. Terry now has two weeks in which to appeal.
A spokesman for Chelsea FC - which said it would not comment on the contents of the written reasons while Terry was still able to appeal - said Cole's Twitter remarks were "not appropriate".
what do you think?
What a prat
The FA is a disgrace ....... well done Ash
I take it you're a true Chelsea supporter
Surely the report should not be made public until Terry has had the opportunity to appeal? Then again, the FA really does have a problem with legalities these days.