Solicitors suing newspapers for football star want answers from website tooGOOGLE has been asked to explain why the name of the Premiership footballer Ashley Cole has been linked to the word “gay” in internet search results.Lawyers acting for the Arsenal and England defender want the internet company to disclose why typing his name into the search engine generates “See results for: ashley cole gay”.The footballer has brought a libel action against the News of the World and The Sun over stories about allegedly bisexual but unnamed Premiership players.There is no suggestion that Mr Cole is gay and he was not named in any of the stories.Mr Cole’s solicitor began proceedings last week for harassment, breach of privacy and libel. The footballer is understood to be suing over the effect the stories have had in prompting many internet sites to speculate that he is the person in the article.Graham Shear, solicitor for Mr Cole, said that he is interested in the origin of Google’s decision to display the “gay” results alongside general searches for his client.He said: “I am keen to find out whether the decision to automatically include the term ‘gay’ to the keyword ‘Ashley Cole’ was an editorial decision or one made by a computer based on the volume of searches for ‘Ashley Cole’ linked to the word ‘gay’.“I would be interested in when and what prompted this and whether the process started since we launched the cases against the News of the World and The Sun or before.”Internet experts said it was likely that the software’s trawl of a large number of websites had generated the alternative search suggestion. In January the US Government asked a judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases. Officials said that they needed the data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches. The hearing is scheduled for next week.Last year Google refused to release the records, which included a request for one million random web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.Mr Shear has yet to hear from Google and says that he will reconsider his course of action if the internet company refuses to answer his query.A spokeswoman for Google said the company was not aware of the controversial listing for Mr Cole. She said that the decision to suggest alternative search terms was made by a computer, but she would not disclose the list of keywords on which this was based.