Manchester United - It's Silly To Appeal To The FA's Sense Of Justice
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It's Silly To Appeal To The FA's Sense Of Justice

Sir Alex Ferguson is extremely confident that United have valid grounds for appeal in Rio Ferdinand's case. The defender has been banned for four games after denying a violent conduct charge for taking a swipe at Hull City's Craig Fagan at Old Trafford.

His initial three-game ban has been extended because the FA considered his appeal 'frivolous' but United feel Rio does have a cause for complaint.

'The concern is the word frivolous,' Fergie explained.

'The two most experienced referees in the Premier League are Alan Wiley and Steve Bennett.

'They are under the same controls and the same directions. One says yes, in the case of Rio, and one says no, in the case of Javier Mascherano against Leeds United when he punched the player in the back of the head.

'When you see that example, we don't think our appeal was frivolous.'

Any sensible man would agree that if Mascherano wasn't banned for his actions then Ferdinand shouldn't have been charged, either. That is crystal clear but is it worth it, appealing to the FA's sense of justice? Fergie must know as well as anyone that it does not have one when United are concerned.

They dismissed the testimony of the United staff members on behalf of Patrice Evra in the aftermath of the Stamford Bridge incident despite having no evidence of any wrongdoing by Evra and banned him to four games simply on the word of the Chelsea staff members. Did justice matter back then? No, just like this time, their sole concern was to show that they are big and brave enough to take on United.

That's why this appeal is foolish. The FA knows it has nothing to lose as the public will certainly applaud them if they screw over United again so I expect they'll increase Rio's ban, dismissing the evidence of Mascherano's offence just as they dismissed the example of Christian Negouai who had got a 2,000 fine for the same offence Rio had been banned eight months for and just as they ignored the examples of Steven Gerrard and Neil Mellor, sent off in the same Amsterdam tournament in which Rooney and Scholes were given red cards but the Liverpool pair got no further punishment while our players, a year later, were banned for three games.

Rio Ferdinand is not the England captain who is allowed to rugby-tackle his opponent in the knowledge that his red card will be overturned. Rio Ferdinand is a Manchester United player and Fergie should bloody well know that in the case of a Manchester United player, justice, precedent and logic are irrelevant to the FA.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 5 2010

Time: 11:58AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I dont think its a Man U thing. Every team gets screwed now and again just to show how strong they are. Thats what you get when a Pro game is run by bloody amatuers.
Report Abuse
05/02/2010 12:05:00

The cases you mention were all pretty unjust. I have no doubt that the FA will not overturn his ban - but the nature of the extension only requires us to prove that the appeal wasnt frivolous. Although the fact that an experienced official deemed Mascheranos incident not to require further punishment does not make Rio innocent - it does show that the appeal was not entirely without foundation - hence it wasnt frivolous. He should be punished, but I would hope the extra game ban gets removed. However, just not wanting to lose face will probably ensure that the FA dont do that.
Report Abuse
05/02/2010 14:43:00

On a common sense level he should get his ban reduced to 3 games anyway. Now he is england captain, most will hail it as United and England favouritism. In fact, just to avoid that kind of speculation the FA might increase the ban. Personally, I think, as England captain he should be let off completely - there has to be some kind of perk to such a poison chalice.
Report Abuse
05/02/2010 17:49:00

extended to 5 you're taking the ***** out of the FA
ten men
Report Abuse
05/02/2010 20:54:00

or would 5 games give u another excuse to appeal. rio is banned he should do his time and get on with it
ten men
Report Abuse
05/02/2010 20:55:00

tuscan it was already 3 games u knew if he appealed and failed 1 more game would be added, so how long do you want this appeal process to carry on to, next season maybe
ten men
Report Abuse
05/02/2010 20:57:00

You dont just automatically get it extended for appealing. It got extended because they believed we had no basis to our appeal. An established referee deeming a similar incident to be worthy of only a yellow card may not be the greatest defence ever - and it certainly doesnt make him innocent - but it certainly shouldn't be dismissed as frivolous. I actually agree with you by the way. I would rather have let him miss the city game and then miss 2 further premier league games - but the club appealed. That still doesnt make the FAs decision to extend the ban (not arguing at all against 3 games) any fairer.
Report Abuse
05/02/2010 21:44:00

"I was blocking him from marking Anthony Gardner and at the time I didn't think it was an elbow, I thought I just got pushed. It wasn't until the next day that I heard he was going in front of the FA so it was a bit bizarre, to be honest. He gave me his shirt after the game and stuff like that so I don't think there was any malice in it." - Craig Fagan (the victim of Rio "the Ripper" Ferdinand).
Report Abuse
05/02/2010 23:35:00

Extra game, make it 5 matches for a frivolous appeal
Tiny T
Report Abuse
06/02/2010 08:20:00

Well the ban should be 3 games - FA take the pi$$ out of us, and its getting rather boring!
Report Abuse
06/02/2010 16:51:00


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