John Terry finally apologises, but not to Anton Ferdinand
Chelsea skipper accepts FA punishment as club refuses to disclose its own disciplinary action
JOHN TERRY has announced he will not appeal against the four-game ban and £220,000 fine imposed on him by the FA for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in a match last season.
The Chelsea defender, whose defence was described as an "improbable, implausible and contrived" by the FA, has also apologised for his actions in the game against QPR in October 2011.
Chelsea have welcomed the decision not to appeal and revealed in a statement that they, too, had taken disciplinary action against Terry. But they refused to say what the punishment was, prompting a welter of speculation on Twitter.
Terry will now miss Chelsea's game against Spurs at the weekend, two games against Man United - where he might have faced Anton Ferdinand's brother Rio - in the league and the Capital One Cup, plus a clash with Swansea.
The Daily Mail notes that it also means Terry will miss the anti-racism group Kick It Out's 'week of action', which begins this weekend.
Accepting the FA punishment Terry, who was cleared of criminal charges relating to the row in the summer, said: "I want to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone for the language I used in the game against Queens Park Rangers last October. Although I'm disappointed with the FA judgment, I accept that the language I used, regardless of the context, is not acceptable on the football field or indeed in any walk of life."
His apology comes about "a year too late", said football website Caught Offside. "His backing-down seems out of character and it’s likely that the West London club have told their longest-serving player to draw a line under the incident and move on."
The Times agrees: "His apology is likely to go down well with Chelsea, who had wanted him to do so, and were aware that contesting the verdict by taking it to the High Court in London, or Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, would drag it out even farther.”
Terry has not, however, apologised directly to Ferdinand, while Chelsea's failure to disclose Terry's punishment has been greeted with raised eyebrows in some quarters.
Some feared that it meant the sanction was minimal. "If John Terry's still wearing captain's armband when back playing then it'll be fairly easy to determine [the] severity of punishment by Chelsea," read a tweet from BBC sports correspondent James Pearce.