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Oct 24, 2012

Ferdinands call for change in racism fight

Anton and Rio Ferdinand have released a joint statement to explain their disappointment with the Football Association and PFA over their response to the John Terry racial abuse case.

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In September this year, Chelsea captain Terry was found guilty of racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during a game at Loftus Road in October 2011.

The brothers made clear their frustrations with the way racial issues have been tackled in the game when they refused to wear Kick It Out T-shirts ahead of their games in the Premier League at the weekend, and they have now said that they believe the anti-racism body - along with the FA and PFA - must evolve to better cope with the current issues.

The pair have stressed that they are willing to assist in the effort to "stamp out racism in football".

The statement from their management team, NEW ERA GLOBAL SPORTS, read: "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.

"In the coming months there will be ongoing discussions, we are sure, on finding a way forward. We intend to participate in these discussions, along with numerous other current and ex professionals of all races, from the grassroots upwards, across the football community as a whole.

"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. However, times change and organisations need to change with them. We are more than happy to join the discussion, privately, to make Kick it Out more relevant in its fight to stamp out racism in football.

"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.

"We would like to thank all the fans and the staff at Queens Park Rangers and Manchester United for their support in what has been a difficult year. In particular we want to thank Sir Alex Ferguson and Mark Hughes.

"We will not be discussing publicly any issues connected with the case. We are now going to concentrate on playing football."

Kick it Out later responded by praising the statement from the Ferdinand brothers, welcoming their efforts to help eradicate discrimination from the game.

"Kick It Out very much welcomes this statement," it said. "We know and recognise the hurt that many people have gone through over the last 12 months, none more so than the Ferdinand family themselves.

"We will continue to work across the campaigning and diversity agenda with all partners to ensure the grievances of players are concluded fairly, thoroughly and swiftly."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.