Rio Ferdinand ban: QPR defender considering appeal against three-match ban as Harry Redknapp defends him over 'sket' Tweet

Ferdinand was fined £25,000 and banned for three matches for replying to an abusive message on the social media site

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The Independent Online

Rio Ferdinand and QPR's bosses will make the decision on whether to appeal the defender's three-match Football Association ban by Friday night.

Manager Harry Redknapp, chief executive Philip Beard and chairman Tony Fernandes met Ferdinand and his representatives at QPR's Harlington training ground on Thursday.

Redknapp has leapt to Ferdinand's defence, labelling the former England defender a "top-class person", despite his ban and £25,000 fine for comments made on Twitter.

The ex-Manchester United centre-back was "severely warned as to his future conduct" after the FA dished out the punishment on Tuesday, relating to an alleged sexist tweet.

 

Ferdinand used the slang term "sket", taken to mean a promiscuous woman, in response to a derogatory message received on social network Twitter.

Redknapp believes there is no need to talk to Ferdinand about his character, suggesting the FA had been heavy-handed in its punishment.

"If someone slags him off and he goes back and slags them off it doesn't equate (to a ban for a red card), I can't see it," said Redknapp.

"We'll have to sit down and see what the circumstances are (for an appeal).

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Ferdinand was given a three-match ban

"We're not sure exactly what he's done and what the charge is and what the reasons are behind it.

"He does know how to behave off the pitch, I've not had many footballers behave better off the pitch than Rio, on the pitch and off the pitch.

"I don't have any problems with the way Rio conducts himself.

"I haven't met many classier footballers in my time than Rio Ferdinand, he's a top-class person.

"I don't need to talk to him about it, not really.

"I don't read Twitter, I don't even know what it is, I wouldn't know how to read it and it doesn't interest me one little bit.

"We're not overloaded with fit defenders, so I want Rio available for every game, that's for sure."

Refusing to rule playmaker Adel Taarabt out of contention for Saturday's Chelsea trip, Redknapp said the Morocco midfielder "could be a world-class player".

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Harry Redknapp has defended Ferdinand as a 'top-class person'

Redknapp said Taarabt vowed to fight for full fitness in a training-ground chat on Monday, following the pair's protracted public spat over the 25-year-old's condition.

"If he was to make the most of what he's got he could be a world-class player," said Redknapp.

"He's got the ability to be one of the best in the Premier League.

"It's like Ravel Morrison, he should be playing for England with that ability.

"Ravel should be playing for Barcelona or Real Madrid he's that good, but he's not even playing at Cardiff.

"It's a shame and a waste, and it's similar with Adel.

"Adel came to see me on Monday and we had a great chat.

"He admitted he needed to get fitter: he wants to get fit, wants to play, wants to get back in the team, and that's all I needed to hear from him.

"He's trained all week and I've been delighted with his attitude and the chat we had.

"If it turns him round and he comes back, shows everyone what he can do, then it will be great.

"He's got fantastic ability, and it would be one the great crimes in football if he doesn't realise that.

"I wouldn't hesitate to put him in the squad (to play Chelsea), he's trained well."

PA

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