Anton Ferdinand reveals 'strong feelings' over John Terry racism row

 

QPR defender Anton Ferdinand today revealed he had "strong feelings" following his clash with England captain John Terry that has led to a Football Association racism investigation.

In his first public statement on the incident, Ferdinand also said he was sure the FA would carry out a "very thorough inquiry" into the matter.

Terry has denied racially abusing Ferdinand during QPR's clash with Chelsea at Loftus Road on October 23.

On Tuesday the FA launched the investigation into Terry's alleged racial slur and the incident has been the subject of intense media scrutiny ever since.

There had been speculation over the weekend that Ferdinand would release a statement containing his version of events, but he instead decided to keep his counsel on the matter and chose to state only that he was happy to leave the FA to take charge of the matter.

After submitting his account of the exchange with Terry, Ferdinand released the following statement: "Today (Monday 31st October 2011) I finalised my statement with the Football Association with regards to the incident that occurred last Sunday at Loftus Road in our Barclays Premier League fixture against Chelsea.

"I have very strong feelings on the matter, but in the interests of fairness and not wishing to prejudice what I am sure will be a very thorough inquiry by the FA, this will be my last comment on the subject until the inquiry is concluded."

Terry has denied racially abusing Ferdinand, who he admitted had accused him of making a racist remark, but insisted his own response was actually a denial and not racist in any way.

Both players returned to action this weekend, with Terry captaining the Blues to defeat against Arsenal, and Ferdinand playing for QPR in yesterday's 3-1 loss at Tottenham.

Ferdinand received high praise from Neil Warnock yesterday for the way he has handled himself throughout the saga, and the defender returned the compliment today, thanking his manager and the club's hierarchy for their support.

He added in his statement: "I would like to thank the club, Tony Fernandes, Amit Bhatia, Neil Warnock, the supporters and my fellow professionals for their unwavering support."

Should Terry be found guilty of racially abusing a fellow player, his position as England captain could once again be put in jeopardy.

The 30-year-old lost the skipper's armband in February 2010 after allegations emerged that he had had an affair with the ex-girlfriend of former team-mate Wayne Bridge.

Fabio Capello chose to reinstate Terry as skipper 13 months later, but he will face huge pressure to take the role off Terry again if he is found guilty of the allegations.

Chelsea, for their part, have given Terry their staunch backing during the saga, with manager Andre Villas-Boas making constant calls for his captain not to be judged before the FA investigation is complete.

QPR, meanwhile, have given their support to Ferdinand, who put in a solid display at White Hart Lane yesterday despite seeing his side concede three times.

Rangers striker Jay Bothroyd has given the former Sunderland and West Ham man his support and is confident that his 26-year-old team-mate will not be affected by the investigation in the coming weeks.

"He hasn't let it affect him and I don't see why it would," Bothroyd said yesterday following Rangers' defeat in north London.

"That happened last week. The FA questioned him, he said his piece, that's done now.

"He came out today with a clear mind and was very focused on his job. That showed today and he put in a very good performance."

Bothroyd has also had to deal with off-the-field problems of his own over the last 12 months and has advised Ferdinand and the rest of the Rangers squad not to let the row affect what has been a reasonable start for QPR in what has been their first top-flight campaign for 16 years.

"As a professional, you have to deal with it. If you let things get to you then you'll always play rubbish in games," said the former Cardiff striker.

"When I played at Swansea last year, if I listened to what every fan said to me, I'd go home and hang myself, but he (Ferdinand) showed his character and how professional he is.

"We're all hungry to do well and we've all got a lot to prove this year.

"There are some players like myself who have been out of the Premier League for a while who have a point to prove. Shaun Wright-Phillips hasn't played at City for a while. He has something to prove, Anton has a point to prove, the list doesn't stop.

"Even the manager wants to prove himself in the Premier League, so we're all hungry and we can't let scenarios like what happened last week affect us and we can't dwell on them."

PA

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