Rio and Anton Ferdinand will shake hands with Cole, Terry
Brothers pledge to move on, but criticise FA, PFA and Kick it Out over the Terry affair
FANS of that relatively recent Premier League phenomenon, the snubbed handshake, will be disappointed this weekend, after Rio Ferdinand announced that he was prepared to greet Ashley Cole before Sunday’s match between Manchester United and Chelsea.
Rio and his brother Anton, have pledged to move on from the John Terry race row that has rumbled on for a year, and are now prepared to shake hands with Cole, who was Terry’s chief defence witness, and with Terry himself, once he returns from serving a four-game ban.
The Guardian describes it as "a conciliatory gesture amid the racism rows shaking the game".
However, the brothers have also criticised the FA and Professional Footballers' Association for their handling of the affair, and suggested that the Kick it Out anti-racism campaign, which they refused to back last weekend, needed to become "more relevant".
In a statement they said that since the incident involving Terry and Anton Ferdinand last October "some of the deep divisions that exist in football have been exposed". But they added: "As a family we are committed to working with football's existing organisations towards the betterment of the game and to achieve immediate action."
The Times said the Ferdinands had also "expressed disappointment" at the leniency of the punishment handed to Terry, "but pledged to work within existing organisations to try to eradicate racism".
The Ferdinand family's joint statement followed the unveiling yesterday by the PFA of what The Daily Telegraph called “far-reaching proposals” aimed at combating racism in football and convincing sceptical members that they are taking the issue seriously.
The Telegraph added that PFA chairman Gordon Taylor had criticised Chelsea for keeping John Terry as captain. "It sends out the wrong message to people who've been on the receiving end of abuse," he said.