Ferdinands' FA criticism

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand and his brother Anton have issued a statment expressing their disappointment with the Football Association and PFA over their "actions" regarding racism in the game.

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Ferdinands' 'committed to working with football's existing organisations'

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.

– Rio and Anton Ferdinand

Ferdinand brothers want to help 'stamp out racism in football'

Anton Ferdinand (left) with his brother Rio Ferdinand on the football pitch. Credit: PA Wire

In a wide-ranging statement released 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".

The statement said: "It has been a year since the incident at Loftus Road. 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."


Players' union announces six-point plan to tackle racism in football

Jason Roberts (left) was one of a number of players to boycott the 'Kick It Out' t-shirts.

Players' chief Gordon Taylor has announced a six-point action plan to deal with racism in football after criticism from some members.

The PFA chief executive says the union wants tougher penalties for racist abuse including making it potentially a sackable offence, culprits ordered to attend awareness programmes and a form of the NFL's 'Rooney rule' to boost the number of black coaches and managers.

  1. Rupert Evelyn - ITV News Correspondent

Ferdinand dropped after anti-racism t-shirt snub

Rio Ferdinand, left, trained under the supervision of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson today. Credit: PA

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says the issue with Rio Ferdinand was a 'communication problem' and he'll be rested for tomorrow's Champions League match against Braga.

But the Scot told a press conference that his dispute with the defender had been resolved and that his advice is that "a union is always stronger than an individual."

Ferdinand and Ferguson both pictured at United training

Rio Ferdinand, centre left, trained today under the supervision of Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (hat). Credit: PA

Rio Ferdinand was training this morning as normal ahead of Manchester United's Champions League encounter with Braga at Old Trafford tomorrow.

The defender defied Sir Alex Ferguson on Saturday by refusing to wear a T-shirt supporting the anti-racism Kick It Out campaign ahead of United's 4-2 win over Stoke, leading his manager to state publicly that the 33-year-old would be "dealt with".

But there have been suggestions that the pair resolved their differences at a meeting yesterday morning and Ferdinand did train with the remainder of his team-mates at Carrington ahead of tomorrow night's game.


PFA defends Rio Ferdinand's human rights

The Professional Footballers Association (PFA) chairman said players are entitled to take a stance over racism.

As one of the bodies which funds Kick It Out, the PFA also defended Rio Ferdinand in the face of possible sanctions from United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

Ferguson said Ferdinand's decision not to wear the t-shirt was "embarrassing" and promised to "deal with it".

PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle told BBC Radio 5 Live: "We will definitely monitor the [United] situation very closely and make sure Rio Ferdinand's rights as a human being, never mind as a footballer, are not undermined in this position.

"Everyone has a right to free speech - just like you can't coerce anyone into shaking hands, you can't make somebody wear a T-shirt - although I do personally believe that joining in with the campaign is the best way forward.

"And then for all these players to get together and put what it is they want down on paper so we together as a union - all the players, one with another - can make those changes and move forward."

Everton players snub anti-racism shirt

Everton's Steven Pienaar (left) and Victor Anichebe (right) decide not to wear anti-rascism t-shirts during pre-match training Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport
Everton's Sylvain Distin (left) snubs the anti-racism t-shirt during pre-match training. Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport
Everton's Victor Anichebe opts not to wear an anti-rascism t-shirt during pre-match training Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport
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