Rio Ferdinand has been given a week to decide how to respond to a Football Association misconduct charge for sending an allegedly abusive tweet.
The former England captain posted a message on the social networking site on September 1 in which he used the word 'sket'.
According to the Collins English Dictionary, a 'sket' is "a promiscuous girl or woman". In south Wales, it can also mean to splash with water.
Ferdinand had posted in response to a fellow Twitter user who suggested his new club QPR should recruit a new defender.
Ferdinand responded: "@ManCunian56: @rioferdy5 @matiousmarston Maybe QPR will sign a good CB they need one" > get ya mum in, plays the field well son! #sket"
The 35-year-old QPR defender has until October 21 to respond to the charge, which was announced on Tuesday, in a disciplinary case which could have numerous repercussions.
Ferdinand, who made 81 appearances for England, the last in June 2011, has been a member of FA chairman Greg Dyke's commission looking at how to improve English football.
He was also considered by the FA as a possible candidate for a FIFA vice-president until David Gill, formerly United's chief executive, opted to stand.
Ferdinand, who has 5.9 million followers on Twitter, has sent more than 14,000 tweets on the website and has been a pundit for the BBC and BT Sport.
An FA statement read: "It is alleged the comment posted on his twitter account was abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper.
"It is further alleged that this breach is aggravated pursuant to FA rule E3(2) as it included a reference to gender.
"The player has until Tuesday, October 21 2014 to respond to the charge."