Blatter angry with FA over delay in ruling on Ferdinand

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The Independent Football

The Football Association yesterday faced criticism from the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, for its slowness in dealing with the Rio Ferdinand case and their failure to implement rules on immediate suspensions for red cards.

Blatter, speaking at a media briefing in London, said the case of Ferdinand, who has been charged with misconduct after failing to attend a drugs test on 23 September, had taken far too long to be dealt with.

The Fifa president also warned that unless the FA fell into line with the ruling of the sport's world governing body about automatic, immediate suspensions for sendings-off, it could be reported to Fifa's disciplinary commission who have the power to suspend a national association from international football.

Blatter said: "What I am not happy about with this case [Ferdinand] is the speed, or rather the non-speed, of dealing with it. Such a case should be dealt with immediately to have a decision and avoid all the discussions that happen when a decision is made far away from the date when it occurs.

"I will speak with the chairman [Geoff Thompson] of the Football Association on that."

On sendings-off, the FA has insisted on abiding by its own rules until the end of the season, which means that any players sent off do not start a ban for a further 14 days and virtually any grounds for appeal are considered.

Fifa recently wrote to all 204 national associations, telling them to limit appeals to cases of mistaken identity and ensure an automatic one-match ban comes into force for the very next game. The Scottish FA already follow these rules.