Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has slammed England fans following reports of racist chanting aimed at him and his brother Anton.
The 34-year-old was targeted for having backed his sibling during the racism row which saw Chelsea’s John Terry retire from international duty last year.
And, after anti-racism group Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) reported Three Lions supporters to FIFA over the incident during England’s 8-0 victory over San Marino, Ferdinand has condemned those involved.
“You expect and accept banter from fans on the terraces as its part of what makes the game great, but racism is not banter and from your own fans? WOW!” he wrote on Twitter.
“Always a small minority who ruin it for others.”
He later added: “Let’s not jump to and assume though as it might just have been banter. We’ll see after the investigation.”
The 34-year-old withdrew from the England squad for the recent World Cup qualifying clashes with San Marino and Montenegro due to his need to follow a strict training regime.
FARE’s executive director Piara Powar said on Thursday: “Although we did not have observers at the match we have pulled together evidence sent to us including media comment and have passed that on to FIFA.
“I think that it’s one of those things that is very subtle. We would say racism and other forms of discrimination is not always banana throwing and monkey chants. It can be very subtle and the people collating the reports believed it is strong enough to send on to FIFA.
“From the reports we have seen I personally think there was an undercurrent of race there, and other people have thought that it has been imbued with racist overtones.
“Whether FIFA think that is strong enough to take action is another question entirely and we accept that it is certainly an unusual report.”