Rio Ferdinand is considering gambling on extending his ban for violent conduct to a fifth game, jeopardising his appearance in next month's Carling Cup final against Aston Villa, by challenging his conviction by the FA yesterday on a charge of violent conduct.
Ferdinand has until close of business on Monday to make that decision, having already gambled once and lost in his strategy to delay a suspension to play in the Carling Cup semi-final derby against Manchester City by pleading not guilty to the offence.
He subsequently received a four-match Football Association ban yesterday — meaning he will play no more football before next month's final.
Ferdinand was advised on Wednesday morning that the video footage of him striking Hull City's Craig Fagan in the face during United's 4-0 win at Old Trafford last Saturday provided incontrovertible evidence and he was advised by Graham Bean, United's adviser on disciplinary issues and a former FA compliance officer, to plead guilty and accept an immediate three-game ban. But Ferdinand dismissed advice that the video footage was “difficult to defend.”