Sunday 19 November 2017

Ferdinand brothers claim football needs to find new way forward

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand during a Training Session at Carrington Training Ground, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday October 22, 2012. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.
Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand during a Training Session at Carrington Training Ground, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday October 22, 2012. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

Simon Stone

RIO and Anton Ferdinand have tonight expressed their disappointment with the Football Association and PFA over their "actions" during the past year.





In a wide-ranging statement released this evening to Press Association Sport by the Ferdinand's management team, New Era Global Sports, the pair have expressed their desire to "work with football's existing organisations towards the betterment of the game and to achieve immediate action".



In addition, they have claimed the Kick it Out organisation, whilst doing good work in the past, needs to change and have offered to work with it to make it "more relevant in its fight to stamp out racism in football".



"It has been a year since the incident at Loftus Road (since John Terry was first accused of hurling racist abuse at Anton)," read the statement.



"During that time, some of the deep divisions that exist in football have been exposed.



"In the coming months there will be ongoing discussions, we are sure, on finding a way forward. We intend to participate in these discussions, along with numerous other current and ex professionals of all races, from the grass roots upwards, across the football community as a whole."



The statement continued: "On the issue of Kick it Out, we would like to go on record to say what fantastic work they have done in the past regarding education and awareness.



"However, times change and organisations need to change with them. We are more than happy to join the discussion, privately, to make Kick it Out more relevant in its fight to stamp out racism in football.



"Although we have been left disappointed by the PFA and the FA's actions over the last year, as a family, we are committed to working with football's existing organisations towards the betterment of the game and to achieve immediate action.



"We would like to thank all the fans and the staff at Queen's Park Rangers and Manchester United for their support in what has been a difficult year. In particular we want to thank Sir Alex Ferguson and Mark Hughes.



"We will not be discussing publicly any issues connected with the case. We are now going to concentrate on playing football."



The statement comes at the end of a period when Rio Ferdinand was linked with a breakaway union for black players following both his and Anton's refusal to wear Kick it Out T-shirts at the weekend.



Over the past year, the Ferdinands have been embroiled in the John Terry racism saga.



The pair were aghast to discover Terry only received a four-match ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road last October.



The furore created by it was viewed by the Ferdinands as a reason for his omission from Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad.



Although Terry was found not guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court, outspoken critics of the FA have claimed the organisation should have acted much faster, and come down far harder on the Chelsea captain.



However, Ferguson criticised Ferdinand for his protest and whilst the pair have since patched up their differences, he has repeated his strong belief that collective action is far more productive than individuals "going off like sheep".





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