John Terry considers appeal to remove ‘stain against name’
‘He’s no racist’ - Jose Mourinho steps in to defend Terry after FA bans and fines him for racial abuse
JOHN TERRY is “eager” to clear his name after the Football Association found him guilty of racially abusing the Queen's Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand. The Guardian says that the Chelsea captain now feels he has a “stain against his name” after the FA announced their guilty verdict on Thursday afternoon.
Terry was cleared of a similar charge when he appeared before Westminster magistrates court in July and the former England defender is at a loss to understand the FA’s decision. "Mr Terry is disappointed that the FA regulatory commission has reached a different conclusion to the clear not guilty verdict of a court of law,” said a statement released by Terry's management company. “He has asked for the detailed written reasons of the decision and will consider them carefully before deciding whether to lodge an appeal."
Terry was found guilty of calling Ferdinand "a f***ing black c***" during a match against QPR last season, and after a four-day hearing the FA banned him for four games and ordered him to pay a £220,000 fine. Terry denied the charge, insisting that he was repeating the words spoken by Ferdinand during a heated exchange on the pitch.
The written reasons for the guilty verdict will likely be released next week after which Terry has 14 days to lodge an appeal. The Guardian says he is likely to do so even though the “FA's regulations state that an FA appeal board decision is final and binding”.
The release of the findings should also clear up some of the confusion surrounding Terry’s punishment. Why, for example, did he receive a four-game ban and a £220,000 fine when last season Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was suspended for twice as many games but fined only £40,000? Suarez’s offence was to racially abuse Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Until the findings are released Terry is available for selection and he’s expected to feature on Saturday when Chelsea play Arsenal in the Premier League.
How Chelsea will react to the “stain” of having their club captain convicted of racism isn’t yet known. The Sun says that the legal bill run up by Terry in the Ferdinand saga is nearly £800,000 and “Chelsea will not pay a penny of it”. However, as the Daily Mirror points out, a £220k fine for Terry is actually only about ten days’ pay but what will be more worrisome for the 31-year-old is the reaction of Chelsea when the dust has settled on the case.
The club released a brief statement on Thursday evening which gave little away: “Chelsea Football Club notes and respects today’s decision. We also recognise that John has the right to appeal that decision. It is therefore inappropriate for us to comment further on the matter at this time.”
Reaction elsewhere has been less guarded. Writing in The Sun, former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright called the verdict “incredibly confusing” although he hopes it will send out a clear message that racist abuse is “unacceptable” on the football field. Football pundit Stan Collymore took to Twitter to call the FA “inept” for banning Terry for four games, Suarez for eight and Joey Barton for 12 games after he was found guilty in the summer of violent conduct.
At least Terry has one friend he can count on. Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho defended him in an interview with CNN. “He's not a racist - that's 100 per cent,” insisted Mourinho who coached Chelsea between 2004 and 2007. “We had a squad where we had 12 African players in the squad. It was a fantastic squad and he always had a great relationship with every one of them.”
Asked to explain the guilty verdict, Mourinho, now coach at Real Madrid, replied: “Probably, he had a racist comment or a racist attitude against an opponent and, sometimes in football, we look [at] our opponents in the wrong way. But please, don't say that he is a racist because I know what I am saying...Drogba will say, Geremi will say, Makelele will say, all of them will say that he is not a racist.”