Roy Hodgson wants football to adopt the Olympic spirit
But England manager also says he hopes John Terry escapes punishment over Ferdinand charge
ENGLAND football manager Roy Hodgson appeared somewhat conflicted yesterday when he said the country's players and fans should learn something from the Olympics and adopt a less spiteful attitude towards the game, before announcing that he hoped John Terry would be cleared by the FA of abusing Anton Ferdinand.
Speaking ahead of England's clash with Italy in Switzerland tonight, Hodgson said the way athletes in Team GB conducted themselves at London 2012 and the atmosphere in which they performed, provided football, and other mainstream sports, with food for thought.
"[The Olympics] is a wake-up call for us all that we don't need that hatred and abuse which footballers have to suffer," he said. "Certainly we didn't see too much of that in the Olympic Games.”
As the BBC reports, Hodgson said the Olympic athletes had set a new benchmark and “we must accept that in football, and probably cricket and rugby and all the other major team sports, that we'll be under a little more of the spotlight".
Hodgson also reflected on the tribalism on show in British football grounds. "To be frank you can't compare the atmosphere and the way people behaved in the Olympic Stadium with the game I watched the day after, the Community Shield. It was a very different public at that game to the public our athletes performed in front of."
Having pleaded with fans and players to be a bit more Olympian, Hodgson then trampled all over his noble sentiments by making it clear that he hoped defender John Terry would be "freed" by the FA so he could continue playing for England.
Terry was found not guilty of racially abusing QPR player Anton Ferdinand during a court case in July. However, he is now facing a Football Association charge after being caught on camera hurling a volley of expletives and insults at his rival during the game. Something neither Jessica Ennis nor Mo Farah has ever been accused of. ·