London: Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is ready to offer Chelsea duo of John Terry and Ashley Cole his hand during their Premier League clash on Sunday in an effort to smash the race war threatening to swallow up English football.
Ferdinand and his brother Anton issued a statement on Wednesday, calling on the Football Association (FA) and Professional Football Association (FA) to heal the deep divisions exposed in English football on race issues.
Rio has been on bad terms with Terry since the Chelsea defender’s racial attack on Ferdinand’s brother Anton in a game against QPR last October.
Ferdinand fell out with Cole after he testified in the ensuing court case in Terry’s defence.
“It has been a year since the incident at Loftus Road. During that time, some of the deep divisions that exist in football have been exposed,” a daily quoted the joint statement by the Ferdinand brothers, as saying.
“Although we have been left disappointed by the PFA and the FA’s actions over the last year, 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 statement added.
Both brothers had been involved in talks over a breakaway players’ union, and Anton attended a meeting at the PFA’s London offices on September 13.
“In the coming months there will be ongoing discussions, we are sure, on finding a way forward,” the statement added.
“We intend to participate in these discussions, along with numerous other current and ex professionals of all races, from the grass roots upwards, across the football community as a whole,” it said.
The statement further said: “On the issue of Kick it Out, we would like to go on record to say what fantastic work they have done in the past regarding education and awareness.”