EXCLUSIVE: Skinner speaks of his 'pride' at Ferdinand fighting racism

EXCLUSIVE: West Ham’s US seven-a-side tournament celebrity manager Thomas Skinner speaks of his ‘pride’ at Anton Ferdinand walking the team off the pitch after a team-mate ‘was called the n-word’

  • West Ham’s seven-a-side game with Dallas United was marred by alleged racism 
  • Thomas Skinner insists that he’s proud of Anton Ferdinand for making a stand
  • He also revealed that ex-West Ham boss Harry Redknapp gave him some advice 

West Ham’s US seven-a-side celebrity manager Thomas Skinner insists he is proud of Anton Ferdinand for taking a stand against racism at The Soccer Tournament on Thursday evening.

The Irons’ clash with Dallas United was suspended after a player from the American outfit allegedly called Frank Nouble the n-word, sparking a furious reaction from fellow West Ham veteran Ferdinand and marring the inaugural event in North Carolina.

Footage surfaced on social media of the ex-Hammers, QPR and Sunderland defender appearing visibly irate and telling one opponent: ‘Why are you looking at me for? I’ll punch you up.’

In another, he clearly says to an opposition player: ‘I am here to set a precedent, now’ shortly before walking his team off the field.

Skinner exclusively told Mail Sport on Friday that he was proud of Ferdinand following the incident, insisting that there is no place for racism in the game.

West Ham United’s match against Dallas United at The Soccer Tournament was suspended after a player allegedly called Frank Nouble the n-word, prompting a furious racism row

West Ham’s celebrity manager Thomas Skinner (middle) urged he is proud of Anton Ferdinand for making a stand and leading the Irons off the pitch in protest of the alleged racist remarks

‘I am so proud of Anton for taking a stand and walking the team off the pitch,’ he said. ‘Racism has no place in Football and Dallas United getting disqualified was the right decision. 

‘When I was asked to manage West Ham for this tournament, it was a dream come true for me. I have grown up watching these players and each and everyone of them has my full support. 

‘They are all amazing players. I went to see Harry Redknapp for some advice before the tournament which really helped me.

‘Now come on you Irons let’s give it 110% and win the tournament. Bosh!’

Dallas withdrew from the tournament on Friday, insisting that the decision was of their own choosing, despite reports elsewhere claiming that they had been disqualified.

In the wake of the shocking incident, tournament organisers said: ‘After conducting an investigation into the final moments of the match between West Ham United and Dallas United, we have concluded that Dallas United violated TST’s code of conduct.

Ferdinand appeared to tell opponents he wanted ‘to set a precedent’ by walking off the field

The celebrity coach revealed that ex-West Ham boss Harry Redknapp gave him some pointers 

‘We have been in dialogue with leadership from both clubs and we are all aligned that the best path forward is Dallas United withdrawing from competition.

‘All parties involved are unified in wanting to make a statement against racial insensitivity.

‘We seek to run an event that is not only fiercely high stakes for all competitors, but also one in which all competitors feel safe and protected.

‘As a result, Friday’s game between Dallas United and Far East United has been canceled.’

Skinner rose to fame after appearing on BBC’s renowned television series The Apprentice

West Ham released a statement on Friday, which read: ‘At the TST in North Carolina, a member of the West Ham United team heard a racist term directed at them by an opposition player in the game against Dallas United.

‘Due to the lack of action taken on the pitch, the players made a collective decision to walk off the pitch as a team in support of our player.

‘As a Club, everyone at West Ham United stands shoulder to shoulder in solidarity against all forms of discrimination and abuse.

‘Following the game, we welcome the decisive action TST organisers have taken in dealing with the situation and would like to thank all of the teams at the event who have reached out directly to offer us their support.’

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