London: Rio Ferdinand risked putting himself on a fresh collision course with the Football Association on Friday after apparently endorsing a tweet which accused the governing body of double standards in giving him a three-match ban.
The Queens Park Rangers defender was suspended for three games and fined £25,000 ($40,000, 31,800 euros) by the Football Association on Wednesday for referring to the mother of another Twitter user as a 'sket', a derogatory slang term for a promiscuous woman.
However, a tweet from the account @flowingmindset sent on Friday accused the FA of a "double standard" in its treatment of Ferdinand compared to its handling of a text message exchange between former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay and the club's former head of recruitment Iain Moody which contained racist and sexist terms, and also its treatment of a disciplinary case involving former senior referee David Elleray.
Ferdinand tweeted "preach!!" in response to the message posted by @flowingmindset and sent another in which he appeared to suggest the FA's punishment had left him "baffled".
The FA have yet to announce whether Mackay or Moody will face any disciplinary action, although several reports in the British media have suggested they may escape punishment should their messages be regarded as private correspondence.
Elleray, the chairman of the FA's referees committee, was ordered to go on an equality and diversity training course by the FA after making racist comments to a black delegate at a refereeing event at the governing body's St George's Park training base in central England in pre-season but faced no further punishment.
A minute before his tweet to @flowingmindset, Ferdinand told his Twitter followers: "Is humour even allowed....I'm baffled! Ludicrous.... & I don't mean the rapper."
Ferdinand is set to miss strugglers QPR's Premier League trip to leaders Chelsea on Saturday and further matches against Manchester City and Newcastle under the terms of his ban.
QPR chairman Tony Fernandes, chief executive Philip Beard and manager Harry Redknapp held meetings with Ferdinand and his representatives on Thursday to consider whether to lodge an appeal.
Redknapp, who first worked with Ferdinand when the defender was making his name in football at West Ham, endorsed the former England centre-back by saying he was a "top-class person".
Ferdinand also received backing from QPR team-mate Joey Barton, who criticised the FA's handling of the case on Friday.
"Can someone from the @FA send me a list of offensive, ban-incurring words that I can't use online and the requisite bans attached to each," Barton wrote on Twitter.
"The punishment (in the Ferdinand case) isn't fitting of the crime in my opinion.
"3 games is violent conduct. (John) Terry only got 4 games for racial abuse?
"3 games and £25k for a tweet? Come on."