Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand on Thursday denied an English Football Association charge of improper conduct over a Twitter comment he made about Chelsea rival Ashley Cole.

The FA said in a statement that Ferdinand has requested a personal hearing in the case.

Ferdinand's remark followed a racism trial last month in which Cole's teammate John Terry was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand's brother, Queens Park Rangers defender Anton, during a Premier League match last October.

Cole, who along with the Ferdinands is black, appeared in court as a defense witness. Ferdinand later seemed to endorse a tweet describing Cole as a ''choc ice,'' a slang term perceived as meaning black on the outside and white on the inside.

Ferdinand tweeted: ''I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahaha!!''

Ferdinand later tweeted that it was ''not a racist term. It's a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake.''

Cole said he didn't plan to complain.

The FA said the allegation facing Ferdinand 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 color and/or race.''