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Ferdinand ban may be delayed

1 Beitrag in diesem Thema

Rio Ferdinand could still be playing for Manchester United after the start date of his eight-month ban.

The England defender is set to start his suspension for missing a drugs test on 12 January.

But United have requested formal clarification and still have the right to appeal against the ban within 14 days of receiving that documentation.

The Christmas and new year break has meant the documents are not likely to be received until next week.

"We're still awaiting the documentation from the FA - and apparently it won't arrive until next week," United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told MUTV on Friday.

"We've been waiting now for over two weeks.

"It's not helping the player but Rio's handling it well. He's got a great temperament - I just hope it continues that way."

The timing means Ferdinand could still play in any FA Cup replay with Aston Villa and the Premiership game against Wolves at Molineux on 17 January.

The delay means it could now be the end of February or the beginning of March before any appeal is heard, further dragging out a process which took three months just for the initial hearing to be held.

But the three-man commission that handed down Ferdinand's ban defended the length of time it had taken to prepare formal clarification of the reasons for the punishment.

"The commission and its legal support has worked extensively throughout the Christmas and New Year period to prepare a 32-page document detailing complete explanations to the reasons for the verdict," a spokesman for the commission said.

"The document has been finalised by the commission's legal team and is now with the three-man commission for their final approval over the course of this weekend before submitting the papers to Manchester United early next week.

"Clearly it has been imperative to ensure this document clarified all of the facts and this position has been reached within five working days since Manchester United made clear their wish to receive such written explanations."

Ferguson has vowed to continue selecting Ferdinand for as long as he is available.

Ferdinand was scheduled to be out until 12 September but that date would be pushed back by 10 days even if he decided not to appeal against the punishment.

Manchester United director and solicitor Maurice Watkins has already said an appeal is "inevitable" and described the punishment as "savage and unprecedented".

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has also suggested Ferdinand should challenge the ban. 

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