Rio Ferdinand tells England to get its 'own house in order' before condemning Serbia over racial abuse


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The Independent Football

Rio Ferdinand has expressed concern over the reaction to the events of last night's England under-21 match in Serbia in light of recent problems in the Premier League.

Serbian fans are accused of making racial taunts at England players, including Danny Rose, during last night's Euro 2013 qualification match.

Among those to have condemned the scenes is David Cameron, whose spokesman said the Prime Minister was "appalled" at what he had seen.

Ferdinand took to Twitter following the statement from the government.

"Has our prime minister just spoken on this U21 saga? Get our own house in order 1st on this issue b4 we start taking the moral high ground," wrote the Manchester United defender.

The comment would appear to indicate Ferdinand thinks there is work to be done in England to counter racism, particularly in light of the John Terry trial, in which the Chelsea captain was found guilty by the FA of using racist language to abuse Rio's brother Anton.

Terry was found to have used the words "black c**t" towards the QPR defender at a Premier League game at Loftus Road during October last year.

Terry was fined £220,000 and banned for four matches - a punishment many found derisory considering Luis Suarez' eight-match ban for abusing Patrice Evra.

Ferdinand's manager Sir Alex Ferguson said following the Terry verdict: "The fact he (Terry) got a four-game ban, he may consider that is quite lenient considering Luis Suarez got eight."

It has also been pointed out that fans would face life-time bans if found guilty of using racist language on the terraces.

The Prime Minister, along with Sports Minister Hugh Robertson and Professional Footballers' Association chairman Clarke Carlisle have called for Serbia to be severely punished.

The Serbian FA deny any racial abuse occurred during the match.