FA charge Ferdinand after choc ice Tweet towards Cole

MANCHESTER United defender Rio Ferdinand has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association after referring to Chelsea’s Ashley Cole as a “choc ice” on Twitter.

Though Ferdinand denied his use of the slang term – which suggests someone is black on the outside and white on the inside ­– was racist, the FA regardless deemed his actions to be innappropriate and have given the defender until 4pm on 2 August to respond to the charge.

“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,” read a statement on the FA’s website.

The development is only the latest surrounding the subject of race within football in what has been a turbulent period within the sport. In addition to earlier high-profile cases surrounding Liverpool’s Luis Suarez and Chelsea’s John Terry, the latter also involving Ferdinand’s brother Anton, a tribunal yesterday ruled that former Charlton striker striker Mark McCammon was dismissed by Gillingham because of unfair racial victimisation.