Rio Ferdinand finds it “impossible to forgive” John Terry over his handling of the racism row with his brother Anton, but would still have played with him for England.
Ferdinand and Terry became estranged after the Chelsea captain used racist language towards Anton during a Premier League match between Queen’s Park Rangers and Chelsea in 2011. Terry was banned for four games by the Football Association having been cleared of wrongdoing in an earlier court case.
In his new autobiography #2sides, serialised in The Sun on Sunday, Rio, now at QPR himself after leaving Manchester United in the summer, hits out at Terry for not holding his hands up and apologising.
“For me, the biggest idiot will always be John Terry,” he said. “As England captain and my centre-back partner he could have saved a lot of pain by admitting immediately he had used the words in the heat of the moment, but was no racist.
“I think that’s probably what happened and what the truth is. Anton and I would’ve accepted that – instead he never gave us the chance.
“I’ve never spoken to John about the case. I no longer talk to him, but even three years later I find it impossible to forgive or forget the pain he put my family through.”
Ferdinand said the incident led to Anton receiving death threats and to their mother having her windows smashed, receiving bullets in the post and ending up in hospital due to a stress-related virus.
The defender called time on his international career in May 2013, having not played for his country since 2011. But he said he would have had no problem playing alongside Terry.
“Strange as it might sound, I would’ve been happy to play for England alongside him,” the 35-year-old added. “I’ve played with people I didn’t like for years. There were some at Manchester United I wouldn’t go for a drink with, but I played with them.”Reuse content