Sir Alex Ferguson backs down over Rio Ferdinandís refusal to wear anti-racism T-shirt
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson reiterates there is no rift between him and defender Rio Ferdinand and that he has resolved the “communication problem” between them. Yet, reports flying in from Old Trafford have confirmed that Sir Alex Ferguson will not be featuring Rio Ferdinand in Tuesday’s Champions League match against Braga.
Rio Ferdinand refused to wear the “Kick It Out” T-shirt, which is promoting an anti-racism campaign. The veteran defender refused to don the T-shirt in the warming up session before Manchester United’s 4-2 win over Stoke City on Saturday.
The Old Trafford boss, Sir Alex Ferguson labelled Rio Ferdinand’s act as “disappointing” and “embarrassing”. The Scotsman also claims that Rio Ferdinand will have to meet consequences for his insubordination.
Now, Sir Alex Ferguson has declared peace with Rio Ferdinand. The 69-year-old manager told reporters in a news conference that he had a private session with Rio Ferdinand this week. Sir Alex Ferguson said that Rio Ferdinand had presented “compelling” reasons for not wearing the T-shirt.
“I have listened to the conviction of Rio and I think it is quite compelling. I can understand his stance,” Sir Alex Ferguson said.
Sir Alex Ferguson further stated that there was no bad blood between him and Rio Ferdinand. He also revealed that the Manchester United brass were thinking about keeping Rio Ferdinand at Old Trafford another year. If Rio Ferdinand gets another year-long extension on his contract, it would be his 12th year with the English football giants.
“The issue is pretty simple. I spoke to Rio. I think there was a communication problem,” Sir Alex Ferguson said. “I think he felt I should have spoken to him on Friday. I didn't anticipate there would be any problem in the dressing room as far as the T-shirt was concerned.
“My advice to him is that I always think the union is stronger than any individual and it is important he airs his grievances to the right people, through the PFA or the FA. It has been a communication problem rather than anything else. Obviously as the manager of the club when you lay down policy you don't want to see it being ignored and that's where my anger came on Saturday. We have resolved the problem and that is the end of the matter.”