Did the FA fail to charge Rio Ferdinand because they were scared of...

...negative headlines and kicking the hornets nest surrounding the Manchester United defender, instead of punishing him for the incident against Chelsea?

Rio Ferdinand has escaped punishment from the FA relating to an passage of play in Manchester United's FA Cup draw with Chelsea, in which he was seen to trip Fernando Torres over and drag him back up in a bizarre off the ball incident.

It has led to a number of fans of Chelsea and other clubs asking what may have happened had it been Luis Suarez or John Terry, or even Joey Barton in a similar position, a player with a 'reputation' for such spiky play.

They may just have a point, because Ferdinand was wrong to do what he did, whether it was an unfortunate coming together or not, there is a case to answer, and for argument's sake he should have been charged and then at least been forced to explain himself, and allow the FA to then make a judgement.

But it probably is not a surprise they have chosen to shy away from punishing Ferdinand, because they have been doing that anyway for months through no fault of his own.

Ferdinand has been ostracised from the England international setup, through no fault of his own, but because Roy Hodgson was forced into choosing between him and John Terry at Euro 2012 due to Terry being accused of racially abusing his brother Anton.

Ever since Hodgson has refused to bring Ferdinand back into the international scene, following up his assertion that Ferdinand's Euro 2012 snub was for 'football reasons' by telling a traveller on a London tube train that Ferdinand's career with England is 'over'.

Ferdinand quite rightly has felt badly treated, not for the first time by the FA, which goes back to his eight-month ban for missing a drugs test in 2003.

When out of form defenders like Gary Cahill are routinely picked by England, Ferdinand's superb form which has recently involved stellar displays against Real Madrid has seen him overlooked.

With an international squad set to be announced shortly ahead of upcoming qualifiers, is it thinking wildly to suggest the FA are simply trying not to kick the particular hornet's nest that is Ferdinand's situation?

Think of it as a 'sweetener' to prepare Ferdinand for his latest upcoming snub. 

The last thing the FA need on this situation is Ferdinand tweeting a tirade at his treatment over the last few months, and filling the back pages of every national newspaper in the process.

The John Terry saga, with Ferdinand an unfortunate casualty, is one the FA would rather sweep under the rug, only on this occasion, it may just have allowed Rio to 'get away with one.'

Watch the incident below and decide for yourself...

Should Rio have been punished?

image: © Paolo Camera

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