Shut it! Fergie blasts Roberts for urging black players to boycott Kick It Out as Rio agrees to pull on campaign t-shirt
11:17 GMT, 19 October 2012
Rio Ferdinand and his Manchester United team-mates will wear Kick It Out shirts ahead of Saturday's game against Stoke – as Sir Alex Ferguson stuck the boot into Jason Roberts over leading a boycott of the campaign.
The United players will take a stand in the week Chelsea's John Terry accepted his four-match ban and 220,00 fine for using racist language in an incident with Ferdinand's brother Anton during a match last year.
Reading striker Roberts believes Terry's punishment was too lenient and urged his fellow professionals not to wear the tops, claiming the anti-discrimination body had failed.
Kick It Out: Rio Ferdinand will wear a t-shirt after Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed United would back the campaign
But United manager Ferguson condemned the Royals forward, saying: 'I have to disagree with Jason Roberts. I think he is making the wrong point.
'Everyone should be united, with all the players in the country wearing the Kick It Out warm-up tops.
'I don't know what point he is trying to make. I don't know if he is trying to put himself on a different pedestal from everyone. But he really should be supporting all the rest of the players who are doing it.
'When you do something, and everyone believes in it, you should all do it together. There shouldn't be a lone sheep wandering off. I think he is making the wrong message.
All in: Ferdinand (right) and his team-mates will wear Kick It Out tops before facing Stoke at Old Trafford
'All the players are wearing it. I have only heard that Jason Roberts is different – but he is very different. He plays a game and is in the studio 20 minutes after it. That is a great privilege.'
Roberts does not feel Kick It Out have been strident enough in their response to the Terry and Luis Suarez racial abuse incidents.
He told BBC Sport: 'I find it hard to wear a T-shirt after what has happened in the last year. I won't wear one.
Rejection: Jason Roberts (right) has urged his fellow professionals not to wear the Kick It Out t-shirts
'I'm totally committed to kicking racism out of football but when there's a movement I feel represents the issue in the way that speaks for me and my colleagues, then I will happily support it.
'I think people feel let down by what used to be called “Let's Kick Racism Out of Football”. People don't feel like they have been strong enough.'
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels the fight against all forms of racism is 'never won'.
'Against stupidity the best way is information, knowledge of things and examples of behaviour, of attitudes,' said Wenger.
'That is much more efficient than punishment, but you have to do both because some behaviours cannot be tolerated.
'It is not only racism, black and white, it is against all kinds of insults we still have in the stadiums. We must fight more against it.
'You look at some faces when you walk around the pitch, what they shout at you is scary. That is, for me, racism. You are insulted because you are not in their clan. That is a kind of discrimination.
Support: West Ham players backed the Kick It Out campaign this week
'There is still a lot to do, but I
think it's good that society fights against it. I am thinking that it is
getting better, but it is never won.'
'I feel that (black players) are the
main targets and if they do not join in it makes the whole thing not
efficient and not credible. We need all to fight together against that,'
he said. 'They have faced the most abuse, so I think it is important
they are on board.
'If they feel the punishments are not
hard enough they have to express that in a different way, but I think
that it would be sad if they do not join in.'
It has been suggested other players
will follow Roberts' lead but Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert insists
his players will support the anti-racism campaign.
Lambert claimed reports that the
black players at Villa would not back the campaign because of the lack
of action by the governing bodies against racism were inaccurate.
asked if his players would wear Kick It Out shirts, Lambert said:
'Absolutely, yes. I don't see any issue with that at all. The lads will
go and do it.
some reports saying they weren't going to do it, that is totally
misinformed and I'm not happy with that. But the lads won't have a
problem with it.
'Is that a definite As far as I'm concerned, the lads will back it, and quite rightly so.'
Lambert has urged FIFA and UEFA to take action against anyone guilty of racism.
Sickening: Danny Rose was subjected to racist abuse during England Under 21s' clash with Serbia this week
Disgusting: Ugly scenes marred England Under 21s' victory in Serbia as black players were abused
He said: 'There is no place for racism, none whatsoever in any walk of life. It's disgusting really that it keeps going on. You keep hearing the same argument that FIFA and UEFA need to do something.
'You've got to do something now. There is no point in talking about it.'
Lambert added: 'I've heard the argument that players should not be put through it.
'I've heard that argument and it is a real valid point that you should bring your players off (during a game).
'It can affect individuals. It is wrong and disgusting really.'
Punished: John Terry was fined and banned for using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand last year