MANCHESTER United defender Rio Ferdinand is tonight to be rested in their Champions League Group H fixture at home to Braga even though any potential issues with manager Sir Alex Ferguson have been resolved.
The United manager had labelled the defender’s decision to not wear anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out’s T-shirt before Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Stoke as “embarrassing” but he has since dismissed any suggestion of a fall out between the two and insists that his only advice to Ferdinand is to save any future protests to the footballing authorities.
“I’ve spoken to Rio. There is no issue. There was a communication problem but it has been resolved,” said Ferguson, who will also rest Patrice Evra but could recall Tom Cleverley, Shinji Kagawa and Ryan Giggs. “My advice to him is that I always feel a union is stronger than an individual. It’s important he airs his grievances to the right people, to the PFA or the FA. There are no lingering problems we move on.”
With Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling all injured, Ferdinand’s central defensive replacement is likely to be Michael Carrick or Scott Wooton and Jonny Evans will continue to start.
The former England international could regardless be given his chance to speak, however, after anti-racism organisation Show Racism the Red Card declared their interest in calling a summit meeting to give those players who refused to wear T-shirts an opportunity to speak.