Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, has paid tribute to Manchester City keeper, Joe Hart for shielding him from a fan who attempted to attack him.
Good sportsmanship is about playing the game square and fair and accepting the outcome in good faith. This is especially so in the game of soccer which has been riddled with racism allegations among players, fans to players and most recently, match officials to players. The ability of sportsmen and women to rise above pettiness and unhealthy rivalry is an added asset and this is what Joe Hart, Man City’s keeper displayed on Sunday when he intervened as a fan ran towards Ferdinand, moments after the United defender had been cut on the forehead by a coin thrown from the crowd.
To show his heartfelt appreciation for the unexpected display of good sportsmanship he got from his national team-mate who was at the receiving end of a painful 2-3 lose to Man Utd., Ferdinand tweeted: “Respect to Joe Hart for protecting that idiot who ran on!! Love the banter between fans but there is a point when it goes too far…calm it!”
Ferdinand suffered the cut when he was struck as United’s players celebrated Robin van Persie’s 92nd-minute winner.