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Ferdinand trusts the FA to launch thorough probe into racism row

ANTON FERDINAND resisted the temptation to publish a blow-by-blow account of his clash with John Terry yesterday, instead choosing to give his full backing to the English Football Association's investigation into the race row that has engulfed him and the Chelsea and England captain.

Last Tuesday, the FA launched an investigation into claims that Ferdinand had been the subject of a racial slur by Terry during the west London derby at Loftus Road on October 23.

Terry has since denied racially abusing Ferdinand, who he admitted had accused him of making a racist remark, but insisted his own response was actually a denial and not racist in any way.

Such has been the strength of Andre Villas-Boas' backing of his under-fire captain, it had been rumoured that Ferdinand was considering publishing his own statement detailing how he thought he may have been racially abused by Terry.

The 26-year-old decided against such a move yesterday, however, when he chose to keep his counsel on the matter and put the ball back into the FA's court.

In his statement released yesterday, Ferdinand said: "Today, I finalised my statement with the Football Association with regards to the incident that occurred last Sunday at Loftus Road in our Premier League fixture against Chelsea.

"I have very strong feelings on the matter, but in the interests of fairness and not wishing to prejudice what I am sure will be a very thorough inquiry by the FA, this will be my last comment on the subject until the inquiry is concluded."

Ferdinand went on to give his thanks to QPR for backing him throughout the saga, while the club themselves made it clear that they would be making no further comment until the investigation was over.

It was much the same story over in Belgium, where Chelsea refused to allow questions from journalists about the saga in the press conference that previewed their Champions League match against Genk.

Terry travelled with the squad to Belgium but it remains to be seen whether he plays tonight, having been rested for the match against the same opponents two weeks earlier.

The FA are understood to have given no time frame as to how long their investigation will take and when they think it will finally be completed.

They have insisted that their investigators will take as much time as is necessary to interview all the parties involved and scrutinise over TV coverage of the verbal exchange which led to the investigation.

Terry, who has had a turbulent 18 months off the pitch, could find himself losing the England captaincy for the second time in his career if he is found guilty of racially abusing a fellow footballer on the pitch.