Anderson criticises Rio stance
Published 21/10/2012 | 12:32
Former Manchester United defender Viv Anderson has claimed Rio Ferdinand was wrong to go against Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson and refuse to wear a Kick it Out T-shirt ahead of the Barclays Premier League encounter with Stoke.
Ferdinand was United's only outfield player not to wear one of the shirts during the warm-up, with skipper Patrice Evra putting one on despite his recent spat with Luis Suarez. A visibly angry Ferguson said the incident was "embarrassing" afterwards given he said all his players would be wearing the shirts and stated that the matter would be dealt with - "don't worry about that".
"I don't agree with Rio," Anderson told MUTV. "You can see the manager was fuming and clearly he didn't know anything about it. He expects his senior boys to set an example. He is the manager. If he says we are all doing it together, it should be the end of the story."
He added: "But Rio has gone the other way. I don't see where he is coming from and I don't know what it is going to achieve."
It is difficult to see what financial sanction could be imposed in such circumstances, which instead points to a private dressing down for undermining Ferguson's authority.
Yet Ferdinand clearly feels passionately enough about the situation to stand his ground, which raises the potential for future problems.
Ferguson is not one for backing down in such situations, so evidently some delicate discussions lie ahead. But Anderson, who became England's first black international when he played against Czechoslovakia in 1978, does not feel the United boss should have been put in such a position.
Anderson suffered awful racial discrimination at a time when it was commonplace for bananas to be hurled at players from the terraces. These days there is clearly annoyance with the Football Association for what is perceived to be the lenient manner in which John Terry has been dealt with over his racist taunt at Rio's brother Anton Ferdinand.
And just days after England Under-21 star Danny Rose was subjected to fearful abuse in Serbia, Anderson feels it is time for the game's authorities to clamp down hard.
"UEFA or whoever the governing body are should be more stringent with the fines," he said. "Some of the fines are bordering on being pathetic. The Kick it Out campaign is very good. They are doing their best to alleviate this problem. But it has to come from a higher source."