Rio Ferdinand has hit back at claims of punditry bias, telling Sheffield United defender Anel Ahmedhodzic that he should “be quiet” and that he would be “in the floor” if his defending had been analysed.
Ahmedhodzic claimed that the broadcaster TNT Sports had edited footage to support a West Ham United penalty appeal in the 104th minute of their 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane. Ferdinand and Joe Cole, who are both former West Ham players, argued that their old club should have been awarded the chance to win the game when Ahmedhodzic was involved in a tangle with West Ham forward Jarrod Bowen.
Referee Michael Salisbury instead awarded Ahmenhodzic a free-kick for a Bowen foul, a decision that was not deemed a clear and obvious error following a check by the VAR.
Ferdinand argued that it was a “stonewall penalty” while Joe Cole compared Ahmedhodzic’s defending to the Six Nations. Ahmedhodzic responded on the social media platform X. “Clearly biased,” he wrote. “You can see at the unedited footage where he pulls me down with him which makes me lose sight of the ball. Obviously it’s been edited to make it look like a pen to West Ham.” Ferdinand then retaliated by highlighting Ahmedhodzic’s “poor” defending for the incident.
Clearly biased. You can see at the unedited footage where he pulls me down with him which makes me lose sight of the ball. Obviously it’s been edited to make it look like a pen to West Ham 👍🏼 https://t.co/QGl7B4Yms3
— Anel Ahmedhodzic (@Anelswe) January 21, 2024
“Did you see the Sheffield United player come out today?” Ferdinand told his podcast FIVE. “I thought it was a penalty and he’s going, ‘Oh he’s biased towards West Ham’. What are you talking about?
“Mate, if I started to dissect your defending, before anything, you’d be in the floor. You should just be quiet…and just go, ‘You know what, actually, the situation, it ain’t clear cut either way but his opinion is it is that.”
In common with other broadcasters, TNT Sports use a variety of footage clips to inform their pundits, who have also watched the matches live.