Ferdinand, who chose not to appeal against the punishment after attending a personal hearing eight days ago, accepted the insulting nature of the remark.
The term “choc ice” was declared to be “offensive and insulting” by Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of the Kick It Out campaign, in a telephone submission to the FA’s regulatory commission. Ouseley is also a Trustee of the Manchester United Foundation.
But although Ferguson suggested that Ferdinand’s status as a United player may
have influenced the magnitude of his fine – the largest for a Twitter
transgression – the
Ferguson said he thought the fine had been “almost certain”, adding that Ferdinand’s “status in the game has caused that, who he plays for could be another issue. The only thing that surprises me is players have tweeted for years and it’s not been challenged by the FA”.
Ferguson added: “I don’t understand Twitter. I don’t know why anyone should get involved with it. We have given instructions to the players that nobody should tweet about Manchester United. We have to.
“Although Rio is mature he has still got to remember that one word can make a difference on these things. You can’t take it back.”
Ferdinand’s charge followed his re-tweet of a fellow user’s tweet about Cole, who gave evidence on behalf of John Terry during his trial on charge of racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother, Anton.
Terry was found not guilty of the charge, and is also now contesting a Football Association charge over the same incident.
Ferdinand was understood to have been frustrated by the FA’s decision to charge him for his actions, which sources close to the player claim were delivered in the heat of the moment and in the immediate aftermath of the trial verdict.
But while the FA did not allege Ferdinand to be a racist when issuing the charge, the player was found to have broken rules over the use of Twitter and his fine, a proportion of his wages, was reduced by 25 per cent because of the former England captain’s previous good record and long-term work in anti-racism campaigns.
The regulatory commission at Ferdinand’s hearing, which consisted of chairman Blondel Thompson, FA Council member Thura Win JP, and former Arsenal and Ipswich player Brian Talbot, also noted the player’s status as the FA’s ‘poster boy’ in its campaign to educate fellow players on the rules relating to Twitter.
An FA statement said: “The commission decided that the comment was improper and brought the game into disrepute. In addition, the commission found that the breach included a reference to ethnic origin, colour or race.”