Ferdinand scraps ban appeal

LONDON: Rio Ferdinand has withdrawn his appeal against the extra one-match suspension he received for a "frivolous" challenge to a violent conduct charge brought against him by the Football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

The Manchester United centre-back's decision announced Tuesday means the newly-appointed England captain will serve a four, as opposed to three-game ban, for his challenge on Hull striker Craig Fagan at Old Trafford last month.

Ferdinand will now complete his suspension by sitting out the champions' Premier League match away to Aston Villa on Wednesday and their game against Everton on February 20.

Ferdinand's initial challenge to the FA's decision allowed him to play in United's League Cup semi-final victory against Manchester City last month.

But that appeal was widely interpreted as a means to get Ferdinand on the field for an important derby match rather than because of a genuine grievance with the ban, a view the FA endorsed when they deemed the appeal "frivolous".

United, who thrashed basement club Portsmouth 5-0 on Saturday, are currently two points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.