Soccer: Ferdinands want action

Anton Ferdinand (left). Photo / AP
Anton Ferdinand (left). Photo / AP

Brothers Rio and Anton Ferdinand have expressed their disappointment with soccer authorities' efforts to tackle racism in the game, but pledged to help find a solution.

Anton was racially abused by John Terry in a match last year and although the Chelsea captain was recently given a four-game ban over the incident, the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and Football Association (FA) have come in for criticism.

Manchester United's Rio and Anton of Queens Park Rangers took part in a protest last weekend that saw a number of high-profile black players refusing to don anti-racism "Kick It Out" T-shirts before English Premier League games. They claimed the campaigning organisation, partly funded by the PFA and the FA, was not doing enough to tackle discrimination in the game, but the Ferdinands have now vowed to "work with football's existing organisations towards the betterment of the game".

"It has been a year since the incident [between Anton Ferdinand and Terry] at Loftus Road," read the statement.

"During that time, some of the deep divisions that exist in football have been exposed. In the coming months there will be ongoing discussions, we are sure, on finding a way forward. We intend to participate in these discussions, along with numerous other current and ex-professionals of all races, from the grass roots upwards, across the football community ... "

The statement added: "On the issue of Kick It Out, we would like to go on record to say what fantastic work they have done in the past regarding education and awareness.

"However, times change and organisations need to change with them. We are more than happy to join the discussion, privately, to make Kick it Out more relevant in its fight to stamp out racism in football ... "

Kick It Out welcomed the Ferdinands' comments and promised to step up their drive to push racism out of the sport.

- AAP

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