MX23RW : Sunday, September 23 03:09:07

Ferdinand brothers: 'Kick It Out needs to change'

Ferdinand brothers: 'Kick It Out needs to change'
© PA Photos
The Ferdinand brothers move to clarify their stance on recent events regarding racism by releasing a joint statement.

Rio and Anton Ferdinand have released a statement saying that the Kick It Out campaign must move with the times in order to be useful.

Queens Park Rangers defender Anton has been involved in a racism row with Chelsea captain John Terry for the past 12 months.

Despite being cleared of any wrongdoing in a criminal court, Terry was handed a four-match suspension and fined £220,000 by the Football Association for his conduct towards Anton.

The elder Ferdinand brother, Rio, fuelled the situation further at the weekend when he opted not to wear a Kick It Out T-shirt prior to Manchester United's clash with Stoke City.

Following days of speculation regarding a breakaway group, the Ferdinand brothers have revealed their feelings on the matter.

"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," read the statement. "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.

"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."

The brothers both come through West Ham United's youth system.

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