Ferdinand drops appeal against violent conduct charge

Rio Ferdinand has withdrawn his appeal against the additional one-match suspension he incurred for a "frivolous" challenge to a violent conduct charge brought against him by the Football Association.

The case was due to be heard on Friday and last week Alex Ferguson indicated a desire to contest the penalty, which turned a three-match ban into a four-game suspension for Ferdinand's attack on Hull striker Craig Fagan at Old Trafford last month.

However, that was before Ferdinand was appointed as England captain by Fabio Capello and rather than risk facing the FA so soon, the 31-year-old has opted to accept his punishment.

It means Ferdinand, who will serve the third match of his suspension tomorrow evening, when United visit Aston Villa, will also sit out the trip to Everton on February 20.

Ferguson is unhappy at the inconsistencies within the FA system, having noted that Javier Mascherano was not even charged following what the United manager felt was an offence of similar gravity during Liverpool's Carling Cup win at Leeds in September.

The Red Devils also felt provocation on Ferdinand was not taken into account when the FA reached their verdict.

However, the club may still view the action as being worthwhile as it allowed Ferdinand to play in the Carling Cup semi-final against Manchester City last month that ended with United booking a cup final appearance at Wembley and generating added momentum to their season as a whole.

It also suggests Ferdinand is acutely aware of the spotlight he will now be under as England captain and a need to take a measured approach to his dealings with the FA.

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