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Ferdinand denies FA charge

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has denied a Football Association charge of improper conduct following comments made on Twitter.

Ferdinand, 33, has requested a personal hearing to defend himself after the FA issued the charge over comments made in relation to fellow England defender Ashley Cole.

The incident followed Cole, a "close friend" of Ferdinand giving evidence at the trial of John Terry over the alleged racial abuse of the Manchester United player's brother, Anton. Terry was acquitted of all charges.

An FA statement read: "Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand has today [Thursday 2 August] denied an FA charge of improper conduct in relation to comments posted on Twitter.

"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. The player has requested a personal hearing."

The charges follow a similar incident involving Arsenal's Emmanuel Frimpong, who was fined £6,000 earlier this week for abuse directed at a rival club's supporter on the social networking site.