Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Gerrard: Fans right to lash Rio Ferdinand

24 March 2013, 15:11

London - England captain Steven Gerrard has refused to condemn the fans who taunted Rio Ferdinand in San Marino following the Manchester United defender's controversial withdrawal from the squad.

Ferdinand was called up by Roy Hodgson for the World Cup qualifiers in San Marino and Montenegro after previously being ignored by the England coach.

But the 34-year-old turned down the chance to add to his 81 caps, claiming he was unable to join up with the England squad as it would disrupt his detailed pre-planned training and medical programme.

Some speculated that Ferdinand's decision was in part provoked by a desire to get revenge for Hodgson's decision to select John Terry ahead of him earlier in his reign when the two players were at loggerheads over Terry's racist abuse of Rio's brother, the QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.

But it was Ferdinand's decision to travel to Doha to appear as a television pundit for Al Jazeera Sport, who were covering the qualifier, that seems to have especially irked the 3 000 England supporters who travelled to San Marino to watch Friday's 8-0 victory.

A constant stream of anti-Ferdinand chants were heard during the match in Serravalle and rather than condemn the chants, Gerrard, rested for the match, acknowledged fans were entitled to their opinions.

Quoted in several national newspapers, the Liverpool midfielder said: "I think the fans have shown their frustration about Rio not being here.

"They're entitled to their opinion. They pay good money to come over here.

"We all wanted Rio here because he's a good player and he certainly would have helped us over these two games.

"But he's made his decision and we need to respect that."


Tags football

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...