Ferdinand risks cup final spot with latest appeal

Rio Ferdinand could miss the Carling Cup final later this month after Manchester United decided yesterday to appeal against his extended four-match ban for elbowing Hull's Craig Fagan during the 4-0 win against the Tigers last month.

The England defender was found guilty of violent conduct by the FA. Ferdinand pleaded not guilty to the charge and that plea bought him time to play in last week's Carling Cup semi-final win over Manchester City.

Had he had pleaded guilty, the case would have been dealt with more quickly but he would have missed the derby match.

However, the decision to plead not guilty backfired when the FA's independent regulatory commission found him guilty of elbowing Fagan in the face, and then decided to add an extra game to the mandatory three-match suspension.

An FA statement said: "The Independent Commission felt that the player's denial of the charge was frivolous and on that basis have awarded an additional one match ban upon the statutory three-match ban awarded for violent conduct."

The FA's decision angered the United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, and now the Premier League champions have decided to appeal against the addition of an extra game.

If the appeal is successful, and the ban is reduced back to three games, Ferdinand will be free to face Everton on 20 February. However, if United lose the appeal the FA has the power to extend Ferdinand's ban up to five games which would sideline him until the end of the month and so force him to miss the Carling Cup final against Aston Villa at Wembley on 28 February.

United have informed the FA of their decision to appeal and will lodge the relevant paperwork by tea-time today.

Ferdinand, who is currently serving his ban, now faces an anxious wait before a hearing date is set and will be sweating over his chances of playing in the first major final of the season.

The first game of the ban was Sunday's match against Arsenal at The Emirates, which United won 3-1. Ferdinand is also banned for this weekend's home game against Portsmouth and the midweek trip to Aston Villa a week tomorrow.

Ferguson said before Ferdinand's original hearing: "If it's a fair hearing then he has a good chance. He was wrestled and punched, all sorts of things happened to him, and he was just trying to wrestle free from it."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence