Rio Ferdinand has launched a passionate defence of younger brother Anton while admitting he has been left disillusioned by the current racism issues blighting football.

The Manchester United defender has so far kept his counsel on the saga involving his brother and John Terry, which has led to the Chelsea skipper being stripped of the England captaincy for a second time. Terry denies a charge of racially abusing Anton in a match between Chelsea and QPR at Loftus Road last year. His trial will be held in July, after Euro 2012.

Speaking to BBC's Football Focus programme, Ferdinand said: "Anton is my little brother. We have grown up together and I have looked after him when we were kids. If something is going to affect him and hurt him, I am always there as a shoulder to lean on."

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Football
John Terry
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Rio Ferdinand