10-25-2016  7:27 pm      •     
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(CNN) -- Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has been charged with improper conduct by the English Football Association.

The former national team captain responded to a tweet describing Chelsea and England left-back as a "choc ice" with the message: "I hear you fella! Choc ice is a classic! Hahahahahaha!!"

In a brief statement published on their website Thursday, the FA stated:

"The allegation is that the player acted in a way which was improper and/or bought the game into disrepute by making comments which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or color and/or race."

Ferdinand, a surprise exclusion from England's Euro 2012 squad, has until 4pm on 2nd August to respond to the Association's charge.

The charge is the latest twist in the ongoing saga that began last October, when England and Chelsea defender John Terry was accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, Rio's brother, during a Premier League game.

Terry was recently found not guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court, but has since been charged by the FA for alleged "abusive and/or insulting words and/or behavior towards", and an allegation "that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or color and/or race of Anton Ferdinand."

Ashley Cole, who plays alongside Terry for club and country, was a character witness during the magistrates trial.

The elder Ferdinand controversially tweeted during the trial, "Film of the day: Liar Liar....starring Jim Carey. What a film!!", in what many assumed was a coded reference to his former international teammate John Terry.

Meanwhile, Manchester United has announced that car maker Chevrolet will be the club's new shirt sponsor.

The seven year deal will run from the 2014/2015 season, with the U.S. based company becoming only the fifth shirt sponsor in the club's 134 year history.

United' commercial director Richard Arnold described it as a "fantastic, long-term deal for the club", but declined to reveal how much the new deal was worth to the club.

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