Not for the first time in his career, Rio Ferdinand has been charged by the FA for “improper conduct”. The John Terry racism saga can thus be said to have claimed another victim (apart from all the players who’ll try to hide incidents of racial abuse in the future).
Although the Chelsea captain was declared not guilty by the court, the fact that the FA have decided to charge him regardless perhaps made it imperative that they charge Rio as well, for the comments he made on twitter.
Players being charged for their deeds on social networking sites isn’t unprecedented (Kiko Macheda’s ‘gay’ rebuke on twitter comes to mind), but it doesn’t make the whole thing any less ridiculous. Rio was obviously not best pleased with Terry going scot-free from the trial, more so because his brother Anton was involved and Ashley Cole appeared in court to support Terry’s case. He doesn’t often feel the need to keep his trap shut about stuff on twitter. But he hadn’t done anything that’d be construed as offensive by anybody, up until this-
“Looks like Ashley Cole’s going to be their choc ice. Then again he’s always been a sell out. Shame on him.” ~ random twitter user.
To which Rio made the following unfortunate reply: “I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!”
Now, not many people would be familiar with the term ‘choc-ice’. Or at least not with the apparently racist connotations it has. It basically refers to a person who is black on the outside but white on the inside. Rio had rushed to make it clear that he did not mean it in that way.
“What I said yesterday is not a racist term. Its a type of slang/term used by many for someone who is being fake. So there.”
He further tweeted: “And if I want to laugh at something someone tweets….I will! Hahahahaha! Now stop getting ya knickers in a twist!”
This was all very lovely from our ace center-back, who recently completed 10 years in service of Manchester United, but every United fan must have dreaded immediately as to what the implications of this are going to be. This was despite the fact that Ashley Cole had come out with a statement saying he and Rio are good mates, and he isn’t taking any offence at all with the tweets. But true to our fears, the FA have now decided to censor Rio. This is what they said on their website-
“The allegation is that the player acted in a way which was improper and/or bought the game into disrepute by making comments which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race. Ferdinand has until August 2 to respond.”
Rio is most likely to face a ban for a few games or some fine. Going by the Macheda case, it should be the latter. But if it turns out that Rio is banned for our opening games of the season, we’d be down to just 4 fit defenders- Rafael, Jones, Vidic (hopefully) and Evra.