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LONDON: Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo confirmed disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Ashley Cole following the abusive comment he made about the Football Association on Twitter.
England defender Cole played all 90 minutes of Chelsea’s 4-1 victory over Norwich City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, which extended their lead at the top of the English Premier League table to four points.
Cole had used his Twitter account to make a critical comment about the FA, whose three-man panel had released a 63-page statement on Friday outlining why Chelsea captain John Terry had been banned for four games and fined £220,000 for racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during a game last season.
The report, which made its findings on the balance of probabilities, suggested the evidence produced by both Chelsea players had been untruthful -- with Cole, who had been a witness on Terry’s behalf, reacting angrily on hearing the verdict before deleting the tweet and apologising through his lawyer. The FA, the sport’s governing body in England, is set to take action against Cole and Di Matteo confirmed the club was doing likewise, although no confirmation was made on whether he will be fined.
“We have got a social media policy in the club and there is going to be a disciplinary process action against the tweet,” Di Matteo said.
“I am in favour of social media, they just have to be used sensibly. It is in the world we live in and as long as it is used with responsibility it is a good way to communicate.
“If players breach a rule that we have then there is going to be some consequences. We have rules and if they break them there is a consequence.”
The Italian confirmed he had held pre-match talks with Cole and Terry, who also played every minute of the match.
“I speak to my players all the time, it’s not just because of these issues,” he said.
“I have a conversation with my players on a daily and weekly basis so there hasn’t been anything special.”
Fernando Torres, Frank Lampard, Eden Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic were the goal-scorers after Grant Holt had given Norwich an early lead. AFP