Cole charged over Ghana tweet
Carlton Cole has been charged by the Football Association with improper conduct following comments he made on Twitter about Ghana fans during the recent friendly against England.
West Ham striker Cole referred to the large numbers of Ghana fans at Wembley Stadium in comments he later deleted.
He tweeted: "Immigration has surrounded the Wembley premises! I knew it was a trap! Hahahaha. The only way to get out safely is to wear an England jersey and paint your face w/ the St. George's flag!''
The FA on Friday confirmed the charge saying in a statement: "The FA has charged West Ham United's Carlton Cole with improper conduct relating to media comments. The charge relates to comments made on Twitter during the England v Ghana fixture on Tuesday 29 March 2011.''
Cole, 27, who claimed his comments were a joke, has until April 13 to respond to the charge.
Lord Herman Ouseley, head of Kick It Out, football's equality and inclusion campaign, said apparently harmless comments could cause offence.
Ouseley said: "We continually urge the responsible use of mediums such as Twitter, particularly due to their increasing accessibility and popularity.
"What can seem like harmless comments can be deemed offensive by others and lead to unwittingly reinforcing negative stereotyping, including racist ones. We will work with all our partners to ensure that education on what is and isn't unacceptable behaviour, is ongoing.''