Rio Ferdinand takes to Twitter to express his shock at allegations of racism by England fans
Friday 29 March 2013
Rio Ferdinand is shocked by the allegation England fans sang racist songs about him and his brother Anton during the 8-0 World Cup qualifying victory in San Marino, the Manchester United defender said on Friday.
Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) have contacted world soccer's ruling body FIFA about the complaints and the Football Association is awaiting official notification of the incident which could lead to England being forced to play behind closed doors.
Rio and Anton, who is on loan from Queens Park Rangers to Turkish club Bursaspor, were allegedly targeted by England supporters in the game in San Marino last Friday.
"You expect and accept banter from fans on the terraces as it's part of what makes the game great but racism is not banter...and from your own fans? WOW," the 34-year-old Rio said on his Twitter account.
"Always a small minority who ruin it for others. Let's not jump to conclusions and assume though as it might just have been banter. We'll see after the investigation."
Ferdinand, who won the last of his 81 caps in June 2011, angered some England fans when he withdrew after being recalled to Roy Hodgson's squad for the match in San Marino and Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Montenegro that ended in a 1-1 draw.
Hodgson said he did not speak to Ferdinand before naming him in his squad and the defender eventually pulled out, citing a special fitness routine he needs to adopt to help control a long-standing back problem.
After his international withdrawal the experienced player flew to Qatar to work as a TV pundit for the San Marino game.
United manager Alex Ferguson said on Friday that he told Ferdinand to go to London to meet Hodgson face-to-face and explain his decision.
Ferguson added he had no problem with the player's trip to Qatar.
"He trained last week then had Friday, Saturday and Sunday off and he could make his own choice about things," Ferguson told a news conference ahead of runaway leaders United's Premier League match at Sunderland on Saturday.
Asked about the alleged racist songs, Ferguson said: "I think that's modern society I am afraid. We see a bit of that from supporters and the way they react to things".
FIFA is obliged to investigate FARE's complaints and if they decide the songs were racist England could be heavily penalised.
Bulgaria and Hungary were forced to play behind closed doors in the last week following earlier cases of racist and anti-Semitic chants at World Cup matches.
It is not unheard of for supporters to turn on their own players and racially abuse them.
Southampton's Poland international goalkeeper Artur Boruc threw a water bottle into a crowd of his own fans this season when they began racially abusing him and said his action cost him a place in the starting lineup for several weeks.
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo could return against Manchester United - but it won't be like previous reunions
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United: Midfielder set to force through move to Louis van Gaal's Red Devils - reports
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: New £16m signing put through Arsenal initiation as he sings The Kooks in front of team-mates
Manchester United transfer news: Mats Hummels, Daley Blind and Thomas Vermaelen on radar as Louis van Gaal reveals he still wants to sign defender
New Liverpool signing Dejan Lovren forced to train with the under-21s after US visa mix-up
- 1 Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'