Wear

Arrest warrant issued for Sunderland's Anton Ferdinand

Anton Ferdinand
Image caption Anton Ferdinand joined Sunderland from West Ham in 2008

Sunderland footballer Anton Ferdinand faces being arrested after failing to turn up for a court appearance.

The defender was due before Newcastle magistrates on Monday for sentencing after being convicted of using a mobile phone while driving in July.

Ferdinand, 25, brother of England captain Rio, faces a driving ban as he already has nine points on his licence from a previous offence.

But the club said Ferdinand denied receiving any correspondence about it.

Northumbria Police said efforts were being made to trace the player.

'Misunderstanding'

A force spokesman confirmed a warrant without bail had been issued for Ferdinand, which means he can be held in court cells before facing magistrates.

He added: "There has been no arrest at this stage. A warrant has been issued and we are aware."

A Sunderland spokesman said: "Anton denies receiving any correspondence in relation to this matter and is keen to clear up any misunderstanding.

"The club is liaising with Northumbria Police and Anton will surrender himself to Newcastle Magistrates' Court as soon as is possible, in order to resolve this quickly. "

The offence in question happened on 13 July when Ferdinand was seen in his white Range Rover on Newcastle Central Motorway.

He was travelling from his home at Baltic Quays in Gateshead to Newcastle Airport.

The England Under-21 international joined Sunderland from West Ham for an undisclosed fee in August 2008 and has played more than 50 times for the Black Cats.

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