Rio Ferdinand charged by FA for 'choc ice' tweet

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand has been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association in relation to comments posted on Twitter.

Ferdinand denied he was being racist after responding to a tweet describing Chelsea's Ashley Cole as a "choc ice".

Rio Ferdinand factfile

Born: 8 November 1978, Peckham

Clubs: West Ham, Bournemouth (loan), Leeds, Manchester United

Man Utd appearances: 398

England caps: 81

The term used relates to the black and white nature of the confectionery and can imply someone is being black on the outside and white on the inside.

Ferdinand, 33, has until 16:00 BST on 2 August to respond to the charge.

A statement on the FA website  read: "The allegation is that the player acted in a way which was improper and/or bought the game into disrepute by making comments which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race."

Chelsea and England left-back Cole appeared in court as a defence witness for team-mate John Terry, who was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand's younger brother, Anton, in a game on 23 October last year.

Terry has since been charged with improper conduct by the FA for the alleged comments he made to Anton Ferdinand, a charge he has vowed to contest.

Terry, 31, is alleged to have used "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour" in the 23 October match.