Rio Ferdinand could not be reunited with former England teammates John Terry and Ashley Cole last weekend, in the David Beckham’s charity in aid of UNICEF after his name was withdrawn from the list of players to be involved at Old Trafford.
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand had originally been scheduled to take part in David Beckham’s Great Britain and Ireland side against Zinedine Zidane’s Rest of the World XI in the match at Old Trafford. His presence would have seen him play alongside Terry and Cole for the first time since Terry was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother, Anton in 2011.
The Football Association banned Terry for four matches after being found guilty of using abusive language towards Anton Ferdinand in a game between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers, even though he was subsequently cleared of a racial abuse charge at a magistrate’s hearing.
Ferdinand added that he felt that Ashley Cole, who gave evidence on Terry’s behalf in court had “betrayed” him.
All three players on the list of participants for the charity match had therefore created a certain amount of uneasiness, although no reason was given for Ferdinand’s withdrawal when an updated list of players was released on Thursday.
The match also saw the absence of Zinedine Zidane due to the Paris Attack on Friday evening but was hugely successful.
David Beckham’s Great Britain and Ireland side beat Zinadine Zidane’s Rest of the World XI 3-1.