Page last updated at 19:53 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

Cole 'sorry' over disorder arrest

Ashley Cole
Mr Cole said he had not drunk a lot of alcohol

Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole has apologised to police for swearing at them before being arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct.

Mr Cole was held after swearing at police officers outside west London's The Collection bar and restaurant.

In a statement, the England defender said he swore out of his frustration with paparazzi photographers.

He was taken to a police station and given an 80 fixed penalty notice and released at about 0530 GMT on Thursday.

No further action will be taken, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.

In the statement Mr Cole admitted he did not heed police officers' warnings to calm down and regrets not taking their advice.

I take very seriously my responsibilities as a professional footballer
Ashley Cole

He also made it clear that he had not consumed a lot of alcohol.

"I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to the police officers on duty last night for my language.

"I fully appreciate that whatever frustrations I may have had with others that it was completely inappropriate to vent those in conversations with the police.

"However, I do want to make clear that I swore in frustration at the paparazzi's behaviour. I would never disrespect police officers in any way.

"I take very seriously my responsibilities as a professional footballer, this includes keeping my body in the best condition.

The Collection nightclub in South Kensington
The incident took place outside The Collection bar and restaurant

"Although I had consumed some alcohol earlier in the evening on a night out with friends it had not been excessive.

"But I accept that the language I used on this occasion was wrong. I regret my actions and how it reflects on myself and Chelsea Football Club."

Manager of the The Collection, Burim Maraj, said Mr Cole had been out drinking with Chelsea and England captain John Terry and other Chelsea team-mates.

He said the popular venue closed at midnight but the group stayed inside eating a meal.

A spokesman for Chelsea FC said: "We are aware that Ashley was detained last night. We will want to establish all the facts before commenting."

Prior to his arrest, Mr Cole had joined Chelsea's first team squad and more than 300 charity workers, celebrities and supporters at a fundraising event for two children's charities.

His wife Cheryl, a singer with the band Girls Aloud, is currently climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa for Comic Relief.

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Daily Star Up yours Ashley Cole! - 1 hr ago
Guardian Unlimited Hiddink reads riot act to Chelsea stars - 2 hrs ago
The Sun You're barred - 6 hrs ago
Telegraph Hiddink reads riot act to Cole and Terry - 9 hrs ago
Irish Examiner Angry Hiddink keeps faith in Cole - 10 hrs ago



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