LONDON - England defender Ashley Cole hit back at the Football Association on Friday in a vulgar Twitter post after being criticised for his role in defending John Terry against a racism charge.
In another twist to the yearlong racism case, Cole could face FA disciplinary action less than two weeks before he is expected to make his 100th England appearance.
Terry, Cole's teammate for England and Chelsea, was banned for four matches by the FA for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. The FA judgment released Friday said Terry was found guilty of misconduct in part due to "inconsistencies" in Cole's evidence.
A response posted on Cole's Twitter account said: "Hahahahaa, well done (hash)fa I lied did I." He then added another hashtag followed by a vulgar expression.
Cole later apologised and deleted the tweet, but only after it had been retweeted about 20,000 times.
"I was really upset and tweeted my feelings in the heat of the moment," Cole said in a statement. "I apologise unreservedly for my comment about the FA."
The FA has not yet commented on the tweet, but Chelsea manager Roberto di Matteo said the club would investigate: "We'll look at the tweet and then we'll see. Apart from this, I don't think the players are out of control."
Cole has backed up Terry's defence that the racial slur was only used to counter an accusation of racism he claimed Ferdinand was levelling at him.