Police have confirmed they have begun investigations over alleged racial abuse towards Ashley Cole on Twitter.
Rio Ferdinand made headlines over the weekend when he retweeted a comment labelling Cole a "choc ice" over his decision to support John Terry in court after he was accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand.
Ferdinand had tweeted: "I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahahha!!"
The term is often taken to mean 'black on the outside and white on the inside', though the Manchester United defender insisted that was not his understanding of the phrase, tweeting: "What I said yesterday is not a racist term. Its a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake. So there."
However, several Twitter users have complained to police that Chelsea left-back Cole had been the victim of racial abuse and an investigation is now underway over the original "choc ice" tweet, which was believed to have been made by a user in the Derbyshire area.
A spokeswoman for Derbyshire Constabulary said: "We have received complaints from members of the public regarding alleged racist comments made on a social networking site.
"These concerns will be fully investigated to establish whether any criminal offences have been committed."