LONDON - Ashley Cole was hit with a Football Association misconduct charge yesterday after the Chelsea star's foul-mouthed Twitter rant at the English game's governing body.
Cole called the FA a "bunch of twats" after having his evidence questioned by the organisation's disciplinary commission conducting an investigation into claims that his Chelsea team-mate John Terry racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
The England left-back later deleted the tweet but only after it was re-tweeted more than 19,000 times, and then made a full apology.
But that did not stop the FA taking action, in addition to disciplinary proceedings already taken by his club.
A statement on the FA's website said: "Chelsea FC's Ashley Cole has been charged by The FA in relation to a Twitter comment which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute."
Cole, who is in England's squad for Saturday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino at Wembley, has until Thursday afternoon to respond to the charge.
It is understood that if he is left out of the San Marino match it will be a case of Hodgson resting players against the Group H minnows rather than any statement relating to the controversy that erupted last Saturday.
Cole has 98 England caps to his name.
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo had confirmed that the former Arsenal star would be punished by his club.
"We've got a social media policy at the club and there's going to be a disciplinary process — action — against the tweet and that's how I'll leave it," Di Matteo said.