If you thought that tweeting was harmless and couldn’t get you in any trouble then you may need to reconsider…

Rio Ferdinand has just been fined £45,000 for labelling Ashley Cole a “choc ice” on the social networking site.

Whilst most people thought it was a bit of banter, it doesn’t look like Rio got the last laugh.

The Manchester United defender was charged by the FA last month for making the remark, and news of his punishment emerged earlier today.

The FA said in a statement:

Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand has been fined £45,000 after an independent regulatory commission found proven a charge of improper conduct in relation to a comment posted on Twitter.

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.

According to reports, Ferdinand has accepted that the term “choc ice” could be seen as insulting. But somehow we can’t imagine him being quite so understanding about this whole ordeal. (Especially since John Terry was only fined £2,500 after racially abusing Rio’s cousin Anton Ferdinand.)

Perhaps he should choose a better ice cream next time. Cornetto, Magnum?