Ashley Cole to avoid ban after apology to FA's David Bernstein

Ashley Cole will not be banned from England duty, after apologising to FA chairman David Bernstein.

The left-back, 31, was charged with misconduct on Monday for using an expletive to describe the governing body after the John Terry racism case.

"He apologised publicly the day after. He saw me last night and he apologised personally," Bernstein said.

"He showed real remorse. I looked him in the eye and I accept that. He is free to play for England."

The decision of whether to include Cole in the starting XI in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Poland will be left to England manager Roy Hodgson.

"I'm very pleased the chairman has gracefully accepted the apology from Ashley," said Hodgson.

"I know how disappointed and saddened he [Bernstein] was by the situation. I'm quite relieved as England manager the situation has been resolved."

Hodgson said Cole is one of the best left-backs in the world and remains committed to playing for his country.

"No-one who is fair-minded could ever question his commitment to England and the England squad," said the manager.

"His contrition is the greater because he realises he may have put his position in jeopardy and I'm very grateful he hasn't done that."

The defender has won 98 caps for the national team and will reach the 100 mark if he appears in both matches.

When asked if he could see Cole being captain on the occasion of the landmark cap, Bernstein said: "I think that is unlikely. We've made it clear on previous recent occasions that the standard we expect from our captains are very, very high indeed, so I think that's unlikely. I'm not going to rule anything out, but unlikely."

Responding to the FA's judgement in the John Terry racism case, Cole tweeted on Friday: "Hahahahaa, well done #fa I lied did I, #BUNCHOFT***S".

The Chelsea defender was subsequently charged and has until 16:00 BST on Thursday, 11 October to respond.

Cole's tweet came after his evidence to an independent FA commission - which found Terry guilty of racially insulting Anton Ferdinand during a match between Chelsea and QPR last season - was questioned.

As well as deleting the message, Cole soon issued an "unreserved apology" to the FA before his personal apology to Bernstein.

His statement read: "I was really upset and tweeted my feelings in the heat of the moment. I apologise unreservedly for my comment about the FA."

Former England captain Alan Shearer told the BBC at the weekend that Cole should be banned for Friday's World Cup qualifier against San Marino as a punishment.

Cole responded by retweeting a message which criticised Shearer.