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FA starts review

London: The English Football Association said they have already started to review the Rio Ferdinand affair following the damaging criticism they received.

Ferdinand will have a personal interview with Steve Barrow, the head of the FA’s compliance unit, at a secret location Monday as a repercussion of the Manchester United defender missing a drugs test on September 23.

He is sure to be charged following the interview but the exact charge will determine the severity of his punishment if found guilty.

There are two possible charges which come under the misconduct category – failure to attend an anti-doping test and wilful failure to attend an anti-doping test.

The second charge is a far more serious offence, would carry a definite ban and to be proved needs evidence of a deliberate attempt to avoid the drug testers.

At the same time, other officials in the FA will turn their attention to claims made about the Ferdinand affair last week.

However, as peace talks have already taken place with Manchester United, it is likely that Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) will be the man targeted.

FA marketing and communications director Paul Barber said: “This has been a very difficult week for the FA and the England squad. A lot has been said and written and as you would expect the FA will be conducting a thorough review of all the issues including an analysis of what was said by whom and when.

“Clearly, the FA would expect any unsubstantiated or inaccurate statements made about its handling of a very difficult issue to be corrected by those concerned at the earliest possible opportunity,” Barber said. “Quite rightly, the last 48 hours have been about the football and the FA have been keen to ensure that there was no further disruption to preparations for Saturday night’s match.

“However, with the right result secured the FA will now commence its review of the last week’s issues immediately.”

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