The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
Ferguson and Ferdinand
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson held talks with Rio Ferdinand yesterday in which he accepted that the defender won’t apologize for refusing to wear a “Kick It Out” anti-racism T-shirt before the Premier League game against Stoke a day earlier, the Independent reported.
Ferdinand apologized to Ferguson for not warning him of his intention to protest against the campaign, though didn’t voice any contrition for the act itself, the newspaper said.
The outcome of the meeting at United’s Carrington training ground allows both manager and player to save face over the issue, the newspaper added.
Ferdinand’s right to make a personal protest was defended by the Professional Footballers’ Association, the Daily Telegraph reported.
“Everyone has a right to free speech,” PFA Chairman Clarke Carlisle was cited as saying by the Telegraph. “Just like you can’t coerce anyone into shaking hands, you can’t make somebody wear a T-shirt, although I do personally believe that joining in with the campaign is the best way forward.”
Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Hughes said racism may never be eradicated from soccer, the Sun reported.
“You’ll never totally get rid of racism in football,” the Sun cited Hughes as saying. There’ll always be some idiot who feels it is something he wants to do. And when you have that it’s very, very difficult to stamp out.’’
Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor is ready to quit the club two months after joining on a 5 million-pound ($8 million) permanent transfer from Manchester City, the Sun reported.
Adebayor, 28, hasn’t started a Premier League game this season and has played a total of 82 minutes as a substitute, the newspaper added.
Former Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt has returned to Old Trafford as a reserves coach while he considers trying to become a manager, the Daily Mail reported.
“He’s completed his badges and is just getting a bit of experience with us so there’s every chance of that,” the Mail cited United manager Ferguson as saying.