Manchester United appeal against Rio Ferdinand charge
Ferdinand, who was charged on Tuesday following the incident with Fagan during the 4-0 Premier League victory at Old Trafford on Saturday, had been urged to plead guilty to the violent conduct charge and accept the mandatory three-match ban by Manchester United's disciplinary advisers. The 31 year-old met Graham Bean, the Football Association's former compliance officer who is now a freelance disciplinary adviser, on Wednesday to discuss the merits of appealing against the charge. Related ArticlesMan Utd v Man City: match previewFerdinand leaves United punch drunkManchester derby day causing sleepless nights in DallasWhat won't happen tonightMancini: Manchester must not look back in angerSport on televisionBut the England defender, who only returned to action against Hull following a three-month back injury lay-off, rejected that advice, despite being warned of the possibility of receiving a four-match ban when his appeal is heard by the FA on Thursday. Neither Ferdinand nor United will be represented at the hearing. By denying the charge, Ferdinand is eligible for United's Carling Cup semi-final second leg against Manchester City on Wednesday night. However, it was made clear to him that Sunderland centre-half Michael Turner, Middlesbrough forward Jérémie Aliadière and Ipswich Town's Jon Stead had all recently had three-game suspensions extended to four by the FA as a result of what the disciplinary unit viewed as 'frivolous' appeals. Ferdinand and United are perturbed by what they perceive to be FA double standards, with the action against Ferdinand deemed contradictory to the governing body's failure to charge Liverpool's Javier Mascherano for a similar incident involving Leeds forward Jermaine Beckford during a Carling Cup tie at Elland Road last September. Should Ferdinand be found guilty by the regulatory commission, a three-match ban would rule him out of the League games against Arsenal (away), Portsmouth (home) and Aston Villa (away). However, if he receives a four-game ban, the extra fixture would be the clash with Everton at Goodison Park on Feb 20. He will discover his fate by 6pm on Thursday evening.
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