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Inter give Mancini plenty to ponder

Inter Milan about an hour ago
Read
Oct 8, 2012

Ashley Cole free to face San Marino

Ashley Cole will be allowed to play for England against San Marino at Wembley on Friday, FA sources have told ESPN.

• Blog: Chelsea propser from snubbing
• FA charges Cole over tweet
• Chelsea to punish Cole

If Roy Hodgson selects Cole ahead of Everton's Leighton Baines, the Chelsea man will win his 99th England cap.

On Monday, the FA charged Cole with misconduct over his Twitter tirade at the association on Friday.

Cole used his official Twitter account to respond to the publication of an FA panel's report into the John Terry racism verdict, which said there were "considerable doubts" about evidence given in support of Terry by Cole and suggesed it had "evolved".

Soon after its publication, he tweeted: "Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFTW***''

Contrary to speculation, he will not be barred from representing his country at Wembley in this week's World Cup qualifier.

An FA source told EPSN: "Ashley Cole is available for the manger to select for the England team - the disrepute charge is quite separate from the England manager's prerogative to select the team."

Fabio Capello walked out on England after the FA informed him that John Terry would be stripped of the captaincy ahead of the European Championships, and the decision to allow Cole to be selected has avoided the possibility of a confrontation with Hodgson.

The England coach contacted Cole after the tweet controversy flared, and ESPN understands he wanted to reassure him that he would not be disciplined beyond any possible disrepute charge.

However, Hodgson might opt to rest two or three key players for the vital qualifier in Poland a week on Tuesday, and Cole may be one of those, allowing Baines to step in.