'They are making up policy on the hoof'

Ferdinand: Against the judgement
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The Independent Football

What happened to Rio Ferdinand confirmed my worst fears. The FA have responded to outside pressure and hung Rio out to dry. I don't think there has been a penalty as strict as this one for non-compliance in any sport. They are making up policy on the hoof - how can that be justice?

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the PFA

I'm sure, having known him very well, he's not a drug-taker. He's a forgetful lad, to be honest with you. I think it's a little harsh. If he had been caught taking drugs I would have said 'Give him two years, give him three years'.

Harry Redknapp, former West Ham manager

This punishment goes against all precedent. Everyone involved in football recognises the need for a tighter and more clearly-formulated drugs procedure administered by an independent body. Until that need is satisfied this kind of episode can recur.

Jules Spencer, chairman of the Independent Manchester United Supporters' Association

There's obviously been faults to the procedure. Rio should never have been allowed to leave. I was shocked and really stunned by the length of the ban. It's as if he's been proved guilty of taking drugs.

Gary Pallister, former Manchester United player

Sepp Blatter's power over football has been demonstrated once again. I am convinced that without his astonishing remarks over the Rio Ferdinand case, the extremely harsh eight-month ban would not have been dished out.

Jimmy Greaves

We are extremely disappointed by the result in this case and in particular by the savage and unprecedented sentence which makes an appeal inevitable.

Maurice Watkins, Manchester United director

It seems the whole world, including the totally discredited Sepp Blatter, wanted to see Rio hung out to dry

Mark Longden, Independent Manchester United Supporters' Association

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